A Russian mercenary boss has defended the idea of sending prisoners to fight in the Ukraine war after a video showed him recruiting at a prison.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner group, said those who do not want to send convicts to fight should send their own children instead.
Earlier, leaked footage showed him telling inmates they would be freed if they served six months with his group.
The Wagner group is believed to have been fighting in Ukraine since 2014.
In a statement published on social media after the video went viral, Mr Prigozhin said that if he were in prison he would “dream of” joining the Wagner group to “pay my debt to the Motherland”.
He added a message to those who do not want mercenaries or prisoners to fight.
“It’s either private military companies and prisoners, or your children – decide for yourself.”
However, the statement did not explicitly address the video or admit that it was genuine.
The UK’s defence ministry said the recruitment of prisoners…