Russia sends poorly trained ex-convicts to fight Ukraine, using them for a few different reasons. Russia sends the ex-convicts forward when it wants to know where the Ukrainian soldiers are. It waits for gunfire on the ex-convicts, not caring about the loss of lives but using them as a tool to know how to best use its more highly-trained soldiers to fight back. The Russian military also has the ex-convicts advance in front of its more highly-trained soldiers in other situations so that they are the ones to get the worse of the Ukrainian gunfire.
One ex-convict who was forced into this with the Russian military said that eight others were killed beside him, while he was captured by Ukraine. The ex-convicts are not being treated as humans but as targets and a shield by the Russian military. This has been going on since the beginning of the war between Russia and Ukraine, and human rights groups are concerned.