US to designate Russia’s Wagner Group as ‘Transnational Criminal Organization’


Washington: White Home Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby confirmed that the US will designate Russia’s Wagner Group, a personal army firm believed to have about 50,000 mercenaries in Ukraine, as a ‘Transnational Prison Organization’.

Kirby, whereas making the announcement on Friday at a White Home press briefing, mentioned the group is “committing atrocities and human rights abuses in Ukraine and elsewhere”.

“In coordination with this designation, we will even impose extra sanctions subsequent week in opposition to Wagner and its assist community throughout a number of continents.

“These actions recognize the transcontinental threat that Wagner poses, including through its ongoing pattern of serious criminal activity,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying in an official launch.

In response to Kirby, Russian President Vladimir Putin is more and more turning to the Wagner Group, which is owned by oligarch Yevgeniy Prigozhin, for assist “as his military continues to struggle in Ukraine”.

“We are seeing indications, including in intelligence, that tensions between Wagner and the Russian Ministry of Defense are increasing. Wagner is becoming a rival power center to the Russian military and other ministries,” mentioned Kirby.

“Publicly, Prigozhin and his fighters have criticized Russian generals and protection officers for his or her efficiency on the battlefield.

“Prigozhin is trying to advance his own interests in Ukraine, and Wagner is making military decisions based largely on what they will generate for Prigozhin, in terms of positive publicity,” the spokesman alleged.

He went on to say that in accordance with US estimates, Wagner presently has roughly 50,000 personnel deployed in Ukraine, together with 10,000 contractors and 40,000 convicts.

Kirby additionally claimed that US intelligence pictures have revealed Russian rail automobiles coming into North Korea, the place they allegedly picked up infantry rockets and missiles for later use by Wagner forces.

“We will work relentlessly to identify, disrupt, expose and target those who are assisting Wagner,” he mentioned.

The US believes that arms transfers from North Korea are in violation of UN Safety Council resolutions. The intelligence has now been handed to the Safety Council panel charged with North Korea sanctions.

“We do count on that it (Wagner) will proceed to obtain North Korean weapon programs… We clearly condemn North Korea’s actions and we urge North Korea to stop these deliveries to Wagner instantly and we’re going additional by taking motion in opposition to Wagner itself, he added.

Final month, the Division of Commerce designated Wagner as a army finish consumer, which implies the US expanded the Entity Itemizing of Wagner to make sure that it can’t entry any gear wherever on the planet, based mostly on American expertise or manufacturing gear.

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