- Mikhail Popkov, a 58-year-old former police officer, was sentenced in 2018 to life in prison for raping and killed dozens of women.
- Popkov is known as “the Angarsk maniac” and is responsible for the murder of 83 women, using hammers, axes and other tools such as screwdrivers.
- He now hopes he to regain his freedom by enlisting in the Russia army, according to European media reports.
Since the war broke out in Ukraine almost a year ago after the Russian invasion, the Kremlin has used many strategies to increase the number of combatants in its troops. One of the most controversial strategies, carried out mostly by the Wagner group, the professional army of mercenaries that acts under Putin’s permission, is to recruit convicted criminals of any degree to join the front.
Many of the convicts are promised a pardon if they survive six months of war, fighting the bloodiest battles.