NewsReturning soldiers from Ukraine front spark crime surge in Russia

Returning soldiers from Ukraine front spark crime surge in Russia

Disturbing information for Russia. It faces an increase in crime.
Disturbing information for Russia. It faces an increase in crime.
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons
Jakub Artych

24 June 2024 09:37

According to Western media, the return of hundreds of thousands of people from the front threatens Russia with an increase in crime. This could also slow economic growth.

On 14 June, Vladimir Putin said that almost 700,000 soldiers are currently participating on the side of the Armed Forces (AF) of the Russian Federation in the war in Ukraine. Many Russians who fought have already returned from the front after serving under a contract with the Ministry of Defence or being injured.

According to a Bloomberg article, all this threatens the country with increased crime. Last year, the number of crimes committed by the military unrelated to combat actions increased by more than 20 percent.

Although such crimes still occupy a small share of the overall statistics, among them, there is a particularly noticeable increase in the number of cases related to the use of violence, theft, and drug trafficking.

In total, the number of such crimes in 2023 increased fourfold compared to 2021 and amounted to 4,409. Moreover, the data do not include crimes committed by former prisoners pardoned for participating in the war, who served in Wagner PMC and other mercenary units controlled by the Ministry of Defence.

These people were mistreated in prisons and on the front, which means the experiences they bring back are traumas that will be felt for decades, noted sociologist Iskender Yasaveyev.

Brutal crimes by Wagner group members

In the Kirov region, a court sentenced former Wagner PMC mercenary Ivan Rossomakhin to 22 years in prison for the murder of 85-year-old retiree Yulia Buyskikh.

In Orenburg, former Wagner member Kirill Smirnov received 18 years in prison for assaulting a neighbour and murdering a friend's mother. In Izhevsk, another former Wagner PMC mercenary founded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, Artem Yegorov, after returning from the front, killed a friend with a knife and injured a girl and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In Novosibirsk, former Wagner group soldier Sergey Shakhmatov received 17 years in prison for sexual violence against two schoolgirls.

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