US Recognizes Russia-Backed Wagner Group as Transnational Crime Organization, Imposes New Sanctions


Washington — The US on Thursday targeted the Russian-backed Wagner Group with new sanctions, describing the mercenary group as a transnational criminal organization and accusing it of committing atrocities in Ukraine and around the world.

of the finance ministry said It sanctioned eight individuals and 16 entities, many of which were associated with the Wagner group. The organization is a private military contractor headed by Evgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. was also approved by the United States in the past.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement: “As our United Nations sanctions against Russia and export controls continue to plague the Kremlin through the brutal Wagner Group to continue its unjust war on Ukraine. We are desperately looking for weapons and assistance, including supplies.” “Today’s expanded sanctions on Wagner and new sanctions on their associates and other companies that enable Russia’s military complex further impede Putin’s ability to arm and equip his war machine. right.”

The Wagner Group currently has approximately 50,000 personnel stationed in Ukraine, of whom 40,000 prisoners are conscripted from a Russian prison, according to the White House.that fighter recently involvement in heavy fighting in the Donbass region of Eastern Ukraineand forced the Ukrainian army to withdraw The town of Soledar this week.

The sanctions stipulate that mercenary groups support Russia’s war effort in Ukraine and endanger “extreme human rights abuses and natural resource abuses” in Africa, including “mass executions, rapes, child abductions and physical abuse” in the Central African Republic and Mali. are extorting,” he said. .

Russia Ukraine
Wagner Group head Evgeny Prigozhin attends the funeral of Ukrainian combatant Dmitry Menshikov at a cemetery outside St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, December 24, 2022.

AP photos, files

The Treasury also took action against two companies based in Russia and China that provide commercial satellite and aerial imagery to support the Wagner Group’s efforts in Ukraine. was taught. Several aircraft companies and technology companies associated with the Russian military were also targeted.

Two senior Russian officials in Putin’s administration, Alexander Kharchev and Boris Rapoport, were sanctioned for their organizing work. referendum Last autumn in the Russian-controlled area of ​​Ukraine. Western countries widely denounced these elections as illegal and fake.

Ministry of Finance sanctions Blocks targeted individuals from accessing assets in the US and bans anyone in the US from doing business with them without a special license. It is one of the main tools used by the US to punish Russia for its aggression against Ukraine.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby previewed the new sanctions at a briefing at the White House last week. He said he was seeing signs of heightened tensions between the Russian defense ministry.

“Wagner is becoming a rival power center for the Russian army and other Russian ministries. Officially, Prigozhin and his fighters criticize Russian generals and defense officials for their performance on the battlefield. Kirby said. “Prigogyn seeks to advance his own interests in Ukraine, and Wagner is primarily concerned with military policy based on what he produces for Prigogine, in terms of positive publicity.” I am making a decision.”

Kirby said the sanctions show that the United States will “work tirelessly to identify, disrupt, expose and target those who support Wagner.”


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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