Espreso. Global

US designates Wagner PMC transnational criminal organization

26 January, 2023 Thursday

The US has officially sanctioned Wagner PMC as a transnational criminal organization, freezing its assets in the US

Reuters reported that the US has officially recognized the Russian Wagner private military company as a transnational criminal organization, freezing its assets in the country. 

The US Treasury Department's website has posted information that the body has expanded sanctions lists against Russian organizations and officials involved in Russian aggression against Ukraine. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov and the head of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov were sanctioned.

At the same time, the Department officially recognized the private military company Wagner as a transnational criminal organization.

"As sanctions and export controls on Russia form our international coalition continue to bite, the Kremlin is desperately searching for arms and support — including through the brutal Wagner Group — to continue its unjust war against Ukraine. Today's expanded sanctions on Wagner, as well as new sanctions on their associates and other companies enabling the Russian military complex, will further impede Putin's ability to arm and equip his war machine," said US Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen.

Earlier, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the US government intends to make every effort to counter the destructive activities of Russia's Wagner PMC in Ukraine and elsewhere.

Last month, the White House announced that Wagner PMC had received a shipment of weapons from North Korea to help bolster Russian forces in Ukraine. This was supposed to be a sign of the group's expanding role in Russia's war against Ukraine.

  • Wagner PMC emerged in 2014 and has been active in a number of countries where Russia has important interests, including Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic, and Ukraine. There, they committed, among other things, war crimes and crimes against humanity. After Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Wagner men took part in massacres of civilians. The PMC is currently recruiting convicts from Russian prisons. Prigozhin, the financier of the company, also recruits mercenaries for the war in Ukraine in Africa.

  • In January 2023, Russia had legalized Wagner PMC, despite the ban on the activities of paramilitary mercenaries. The Wagner Center PMC Joint Stock Company is registered in the Russian register in the building of the business center of the same name, built by Yevgeny Prigozhin in St. Petersburg - until now, no legal entity with Wagner in its name has existed in Russia.

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