Russian soldiers
Russian soldiersiSTOCK

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the reduction of amenities in Russian prisons.

Among the reductions was an instruction to turn off the heating in prisoners, at a time of year when temperatures can reach -55 degrees Celsius.

Olga Romanova, the director of a prisoners' rights organization in Russia, told the German magazine Bild: “The conditions in prisons are being made intolerable to encourage men there to go to Ukraine.”

"Prisoners are sent en masse to the Ukrainian front, and die there.”

A few months after the war broke out, the Wagner Group mercenary contractor announced a special plan by which prisoners who agreed to join the war effort would be released from the rest of their prison sentence after 6 months of combat service.

Many of the prisoners released to fight have no suitable training, and are used as expendable units ahead of trained Russian forces.

Most of the prisoners released in this manner do not survive the war, which Western reports claim reduces the number of prisoners who decide to enlist.