British intelligence: Russia uses prisoner labor in defense plants

Russian military-industrial enterprises use the labor of prisoners to meet the needs for the production of weapons and equipment in a war. About it informs British Ministry of Defense in the daily intelligence report.

“The work of convicts is likely to be especially in demand by manufacturers of low-tech weapons, such as Uralvagonzavod,” they say in London. They believe that manufacturers of weapons and equipment are now under strong pressure from Moscow, which requires to increase production volumes.

In November 2022 Uralvagonzavod the only manufacturer of tanks for the Russian army – sent to work 250 prisoners serving sentences in Nizhny Tagil. They were involved in auxiliary work as machine operators, turners, millers, electric welders, crane operators. At convicts no access to work related to the regime of secrecy.

Before the start of the war in Ukraine, in January 2022, Vladimir Putin approved the proposal of the Ministry of Justice to create correctional centers in Russia for 100,000 jobs for convicts. Minister of Justice Konstantin Chuichenko estimated this project at 500,000 rubles for each job created, but promised that the prisoners would actually pay the costs associated with their upkeep. The authorities have promised to recruit 100,000 prisoners to work by the end of 2024.

“Prisoners provide the Russian authorities with a unique human resource that they can use to continue the war against Ukraine, while there are still not enough volunteers,” sums up the British Ministry of Defense.

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