They call themselves the she-wolves. Women who have been imprisoned in Russia and who are now at the front.

Of the 400,000 people in Russian prisons, eight percent are women. So there are about 35,000 female prisoners. According to "Russia Behind Bars", 300 of them are fighting in Ukraine right now, but the organization believes that in the near future there will be significantly more.

"When the Wagner Group recruited people, Prigozhin flew from prison to prison. It happened every day and involved a lot of people, but it was a one-off effort. Now the Ministry of Defense is recruiting people from just about everywhere, says Olga Romanova, head of the organization "Russia Behind Bars".

Wants to fight for the fatherland

The men want to fight in Ukraine to get out of prison and to feel needed. Women, on the other hand, want to fight for their motherland, says Olga Romanova.

"There are often telephones in prisons where the men are held, so they know what's really going on at the front. The women, on the other hand, have no other information than that which comes from state propaganda," she says.

Recruited 100,000 inmates

The Wagner Group was banned from recruiting people for the war in Ukraine in February. In less than a year, the mercenary group gathered 50,000 inmates who had been sent to the war. But since the Russian Ministry of Defense took over the task, as many as 100,000 inmates have been recruited. This is evident from official figures on how many people are imprisoned in Russia.

"I think they will bring more and more inmates to the front. Every human rights activist's dream of reducing the number of inmates has come true. But we never thought it would happen by sending them to their deaths," says Olga Romanova.