Convicted criminals known to hate Russia and with experience fighting during the Crimea conflict are being released from Ukrainian prisons to help defend the country.
Those freed include the author of the song ‘Putin is a D*ckhead’. Sergey Velichko is credited with writing the hit ‘Putin khuylo!’, translated as ‘Putin is a D*ckhead’, which originated in the Ukraine in 2014 from a football chant following the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War.
The phrase became widespread throughout the Ukraine among supporters of national sovereignty and those who do not like the Russian president in both Ukrainian-speaking and Russian-speaking areas of the country.
Velichko was in jail on suspicion of racketeering. Along with other criminals considered to veterans of the conflict in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, he has been released by the local authorities to defend his homeland against invading forces.
The decision to release the unspecified number of convicts was announced by Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova on 28th February.
She said: “This not a mass action, but a very balanced and targeted step. Simply put, the population should not worry that crime will flood the streets because of this. And those serving sentences should also hope for an ‘open day’. Each of those released has significant combat experience in the ATO (Anti-Terrorist Operation) Zone in 2014-2015.
“All of them are ardent opponents of the ‘Russian world’, and one is the author of a well-known song by Ukrainian fans about the main aggressor. All risks and control mechanisms for them have been individually assessed.
“And when it comes to preserving statehood and the future fate of the country, we believe that those who faltered but who want to help protect their homeland, deserve this chance to do so. In addition, we are convinced that the main task of the penitentiary system is not punishment, but correction.”
On the evening of 27th February 27, Velichko posted a photo of him holding a rifle on Instagram Stories and announced that he is a free man.