Russian Soldier Kills His Own Comrades

( — One of the Russian convicts fighting in Ukraine shot and killed six Russian soldiers before fleeing the battlefield.

According to pro-Russian military bloggers, 57-year-old convict soldier Sgt. Yuri Galushko shot six soldiers from a 10th Tank Regiment howitzer artillery battalion near the Aleksandrovka region before fleeing.

One blogger suggested that Galushko may attempt to cross to the Ukrainian side.

Originally from Kharkiv in Ukraine, Galushko reportedly moved to the Belgorod region of Russia, where he was later arrested and sent to prison.

In February, he signed up to become one of the many Russian prisoners to sign a military contract to fight in Ukraine.

The Russian Defense Ministry offers convicts imprisoned for rape, murder, or even minor drug charges a chance at freedom in exchange for joining the so-called Storm-Z battalions.

These battalions made up of criminals have been used by Russia as cannon fodder, with tens of thousands of convicts serving on the front lines, first with the Wagner mercenary group, then under the control of the Defense Ministry.

It is believed that over 100,000 Russian convicts have been sent to Ukraine since the start of the war.

According to some surviving convict soldiers, discipline among the Storm-Z units was maintained through executions. Commanders would kill soldiers for anything from stealing to trying to escape.

Last year, Deputy Justice Minister Vsevolod Vukolov announced that the prison population in Russia had decreased substantially compared to before the war in Ukraine, dropping from 420,000 to a record low of 266,000.

One of the most notorious Russian convicts, cannibal Dmitry Malyshev, is among those who agreed to fight in Ukraine in exchange for a chance at freedom.

Malyshev, who was convicted in 2014 of murder, cannibalism, and gunrunning and sentenced to 25 years, signed a contract with the Ministry of Defense last October to serve in Storm-Z.

A second convict, 38-year-old Alexander Maslennikov, signed up with Malyshev.

Maslennikov was serving a 23-year sentence for raping and murdering two shop assistants after he invited them to his home for pizza.

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