The US classifies the Russian mercenary group Wagner as a “transnational criminal organization”. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby announced on Friday. The measure allows the US and other countries to restrict the international business of the mercenary group and its worldwide network of supporters. The US government will impose targeted sanctions on the Wagner group next week, Kirby said.
He has yet to give details about the sanctions. According to Kirby, Wagner is a criminal organization responsible for atrocities and human rights abuses in Ukraine and around the world. There is a growing rivalry between the Wagner group and the Russian military and other Russian ministries. “We see growing tensions between Wagner and the Russian Defense Ministry,” said Kirby.
10,000 Wagner mercenaries in Ukraine
North Korea has also delivered weapons to Wagner in recent weeks, Kirby said. On 18 November, a train left Russia bound for North Korea, loaded by North Korea to return to Russia the next day. There is image evidence for this. It is assumed that there will be more deliveries of weapons from North Korea.
The Wagner group is owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin. About 50,000 soldiers are currently fighting in Ukraine’s private army ranks, Kirby said. Among them are 10,000 mercenaries and 40,000 prisoners. (apa)