A fifth of recruits in Russian prisoner units are HIV positive, says Ukraine, per The New York TImes.
Prisoners were recruited to join the Wagner Group in Ukraine with promises of anti-viral medication.
Captured soldiers said they agreed because Russian prisons deprived them of effective HIV treatment.
About a fifth of recruits sent to fight in Ukraine from Russian prisons are HIV positive, according to estimates by Ukrainian authorities, with several captured Russian soldiers telling The New York Times they were promised life-saving anti-viral medications if they agreed to fight.
One detainee told The Times that he took the offer to fight in Ukraine because the Russian prison system deprived him of supplies of effective medications that he needed to survive.
He was identified only by his first name in order to avoid retaliation if he returned to Russia.
While anti-viral treatments don't cure HIV, they can reduce viral loads, making people less susceptible to illness caused by a weakened immune system. »