The Russian defense industry is likely to resort to using prisoner labor in an attempt to meet wartime production needs.
This is stated in the intelligence review of the British Ministry of Defense on Friday.
It is noted that in November 2022, Uralvagonzavod, Russia's largest tank manufacturer, told local media that it would employ 250 prisoners after meeting with the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSVP).
In Russia, there is a long tradition of using prison labor, but since 2017, forced labor has been reintroduced as a separate criminal punishment.
The FSIN, which has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, controls an empire of more than 400,000 prisoners and is often accused of extreme brutality and corruption.
The prison population is a unique human resource that Russian leaders can use to support the war in Ukraine, which the Russian Federation calls a "special military operation", while volunteers remain in short supply, British intelligence officials say.
Prison labor is likely to be particularly in demand by low-tech weapons manufacturers such as Uralvagonzavod, which will almost certainly come under intense pressure from Moscow to ramp up production.