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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Pornhub Removes Wagner Ad Recruiting Soldiers For Russian War

Pornhub has removed ads by the Wagner Group encouraging people to join their Russian mercenaries fighting in Ukraine.

A spokesman for Pornhub said news week that the ads have been removed and that the site does not allow politically-related ads.

Earlier this week there were reports that ads looking for people to join the Wagner Group had appeared on Pornhub, the world’s largest pornography website. According to The Moscow Times, the ads showed a woman licking a lollipop while a voice was heard boasting about the Wagner group’s credentials.

“We are recruiting fighters from all regions of Russia,” the ad reads, according to The Moscow Times, a Russian-language online newspaper. At the end of the advertisement, a number appeared on the screen for individuals to call.

Since the beginning of the Russo-Ukrainian war, the Wagner group led by Yevgeny Prigozhin has been heavily involved in the fighting, including the battles for control of the city of Bakhmut.

Prigozhin was previously thought to be a strong ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, but there have been reports of tensions between the two. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a US-based think tank, said in a report last October that Prigozhin angered Russian officials “by releasing the so-called ‘Wagner line’ of fortifications in northeastern Ukraine that appears to be misaligned with Kremlin-led narratives about the course of the war.”

Last month, Prigozhin sharply criticized the Russian Defense Ministry. Politico reported that he said: “The Chief of Staff and Secretary of Defense are issuing orders left and right that Wagner PMC is not only to be denied ammunition, but also not to receive airlift assistance…. There is direct reciprocation.”

In October, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called Prigozhin a “simple Russian citizen” and added that he was making “a major, realizable contribution” to Russia.

It was also previously reported that Prigozhin recruited Russian prisoners to join the Wagner mercenaries. However, in an update on Monday, the UK MoD said: “In recent weeks, Wagner Group owner Yevgeny Prigozhin has likely lost access to recruitment in Russian prisons due to his ongoing dispute with the Russian MoD [Ministry of Defence] Guide. Prigozhin is likely targeting his recruitment efforts at free Russian citizens.”

The update continued, “Approximately half of the prisoners Wagner has already used in Ukraine are likely to have been victimized, and the new initiatives are unlikely to make up for the loss of the convict pipeline. If the ban continues, Prigozhin will likely be forced to reduce the scale or intensity of Wagner operations in Ukraine.”

news week emailed the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.

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