Vladimir Putin is sending convicted murderers to fight in Ukraine, shock new evidence suggests.
One of the troops sent off to the front line was ex-policeman Vadim Tekhov, 33, who was released from jail just one year into his 16-year sentence for the murder of his ex-wife, Regina Gagiev.
Tekhov was found guilty of repeatedly stabbing the 22-year-old at her office and thrown in jail – but reports say he was released to fight with a "special regiment" of the Defence Ministry.
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The brutal killer's enlistment was only discovered after he was re-arrested on suspected drugs offences.
He is one of the hundreds of murderers who have been released from prison in a bid to up the number of Russian troops fighting in Ukraine.
Many of them are fighting with the secretive Wagner Group, a private army group set up by one of Putin's pals – although it's believed jailed cops like Tekhov are being recruited into a normal army regiment.
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It is thought that up to 35,000 inmates have been released to fight in Putin's illegal war so far – and, scarily, if they manage to survive for six months on the front line, the Russian dictator reportedly revokes their jail sentences, meaning they will be able to walk free once they return home.
This isn't the first time Tekhov's criminal case has caused uproar in Russia.
Investigators released video footage of the evil murderer brandishing a kitchen knife as he demanded to go through his ex-wife's phone – but when the mum-of-one said no, he attacked her, leaving her with 15 stab wounds.
Regina later died in hospital from her injuries.
Her mother Zema said; “All the time he was jealous.
“He told [my daughter]: ‘If you are not with me, you will not be with anyone.
“‘Be with me, or I will kill you’.”
The victim’s sister Roxana Zaseeva said: “If I had my way, I would sentence him to be executed by shooting.”
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The killer had a history of violence and had beaten his ex-wife while they were still together.
He had also stabbed three others.
Despite this, however, the killer was allowed to be released on bail with an electronic tag in the run-up to his trial, causing widespread fury.
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