Enough time has passed that some sociological analysis can be done on criminal recidivism rates among the Wagner forces. Although, to be sure, it is probably not a scientific study when the Wagner chief Evgeny Prigozhin does it himself, and just throws out some numbers. But still, it’s something.
This piece reports on some statements coming out of Prigozhin’s press service. Here are some facts offered by the chief in regard to criminals serving in the Special Military Operation (SMO):
More than 5,000 former criminals, having served out their military contract with the Wagner organization in the SMO, have returned to civilian life with a full pardon. Amongst these, the criminal recidivism rate over the past month is 0.31%.
Which is 10-20 times lower than the normal recidivism rate among these types of criminals, according to Prigozhin. Prigozhin went on to say that crime in general, in Russia, has gone down 10 times since the start of the war. [yay!?]
The Bicycle Thief
One example of a successful recidivist: Ben Akhmed Sherif, a native of Tunisia, arrived in Russia around 10 years ago and settled in St. Petersburg where, as his photo shows, he engaged in fire-eating. Back in 2021 he was sentenced to one and half years in a labor colony, his crime being attempted robbery. After barely serving a year, Ben was pardoned by President Putin himself, in July 2022, and went marching off to war, as a Wagnerite. For about half a year he served bravely and received a medal of Valor. Then was discharged with a handsome payout of 1.1 million rubles [around $14,000 American dollars].
Sadly, within just a month or so after his discharge, Ben was detained again, this time for stealing two bicycles, a “Forward” and a “Skill Bike”, worth 18,000 and 15,000 rubles respectively [roughly around $200 bucks]. It is unclear from the narrative if the African native stole these bikes after returning from the SMO, or if (more likely) these were two older crimes that had just come to light and never been accounted for (указывая на непогашенную судимость). Either way, the Prosecution wanted to throw the book at him and send him back to the colony.
Russia is one of those European nations which follow the Code Napoleon (as opposed to English Common Law), what this means in practice is that the prosecution usually gets what it wants.
However, in this case, Ben’s attorney was apparently able to mount a successful defense. The judges took into account the following factors: Ben had lived in Russia for 10 years and has ties to the community, including a family (2 children from a previous marriage). The court also took into account Ben’s previous pardon (by Putin himself), and his valorous service in the SMO. In the end the court decided to leave Ben his freedom. Ben plans to apply for Russian citizenship.
He’s lucky, guilty or not, in the West the color of his skin and without money they don’t give him a chance. And it is not about stealing or not stealing, it is that justice is white and racist.
What was it about this rather ordinary street criminal that brought him to Putin’s attention in the first place, as well as to be worthy of a pardon?
That is a very good question, Antoinetta, and I am afraid I don’t know the answer!
Here is my best guess (and this is just a theory):
Putin was not personally involved in this case, he maybe just got a list of people that Prigozhin had recruited right out of the labor colonies; and Putin signed a batch of executive pardons so these guys could get sprung from jail and go off to war?
Either that, or Putin has a thing for fire-eaters. Well, we know he likes wrestlers and boxers, so it’s just a small step from that to carnival freaks.
Probably saw that he could literally blow fire.
So he could replace a TOS-1 single-handedly?
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heeheee you make me laugh!
Well, at least Wagner has the right equipment now.
Nobody reads any more, but people still watch old music videos on youtube. Peter Paul and Mary nailed it in their famous 1962 song, “If I had a shovel…”
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGMOB2K78iM You mean “If I had a hammer” don’t you? Of course, a hammer is also pretty handy for…
Nailed it! (heehee)
“lucky, guilty or not, in the West the color of his skin and without money”
Trust me Liborio, when it comes to justice in the US the only color that matters is the dye in the dineros. And now, the cops in “blue” urban areas are not capable of charging/holding suspects on property crimes like bicycle theft…only if the victim is a political donor, part of the local power structure, is police-pursuit/prosecution warranted.
That is why some formally die-hard liber-esque friends have asked me about firearms for their situation. Disclaimer: I am NOT an expert…just somebody they know. While laws may protect you from criminal prosecution in personal defense and coming to the aid of others, only when the perp enters your home/castle are you protected from civil-prosecution.
Discharge/brandish a weapon outside your home in a blue state, no matter how justified the situation is , an attorney working for the anti-gun lobby will go after you in a civil case…probably not successfully but, if you are not in the 1%, you will be impoverished. To the anti-gun lobby, it’s important to create the impression that guns won’t protect* you against criminals; if anti-gun lobby attorneys have to abuse the civil courts and 3,000 years of established social norms to do that…so be it.
[Guns won’t protect]* – Only the government can deem you worthy of protection or…as poor people know all too well, government can deem you NOT worthy! In any case, your personal protection is determined by your fealty/value to the existing social-economic structure.
Back to the post, it’s good to see Russia taking property crime seriously, these crimes hurt poor people far more than the wealthy and odds are very good that “petty” criminals are full spectrum opportunists capable/engaging of/in much more serious crime. Most Americans wish their government took it’s >DOMESTIC< responsibility to protect as seriously as Russia accidentally reveals in this case. That said, if you don't believe people can be redeemed after punishment, then you don't believe in either God or, punishment.