World US Is Weighing a Terrorism Label for Russia’s Wagner Group Mercenaries
Russia’s Wagner Group Sends Blood-Stained Sledgehammer to EU Parliament
Russia’s Wagner Group Sends Blood-Stained Sledgehammer to EU ParliamentYevgeny Prigozhin’s threatening delivery came as the EU Parliament prepared to condemn Wagner in a non-binding resolution after branding Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism.
(Bloomberg) -- The Biden administration is weighing whether to label Russia’s Wagner Group as a foreign terrorist organization, two people familiar with the matter said, as part of efforts to handicap the privately owned military company’s involvement in Ukraine and its growing presence in Africa.
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The administration has made no final decision on the designation, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations. Labeling Wagner a foreign terrorist organization would allow the US to pursue criminal prosecution against the group and its members, as well as go after its assets around the globe.
Putin's crony dubbed 'the chef' sends 'bloodied sledgehammer' to EU
He was responding to a vote to declare Russia a 'state sponsor of terrorism'.Vladimir Putin’s close confidant Yevgeny Prigozhin was responding to a vote to declare Russia a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ and his mercenaries a ‘terrorist group’.
Moving against Wagner would mark a new US effort to counter a group that has gained in prominence and power around the globe, especially since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, as its mercenaries have played a major role in the fighting. The group’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is considered a major ally and supporter of President Vladimir Putin and his war effort in Ukraine. He’s known as “Putin’s chef” because his catering business hosted dinners attended by the Russian president.
A State Department spokesperson, speaking on condition of anonymity, declined to confirm discussions about Wagner but said the US would continue to hold those responsible for Russia’s war to account. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov didn’t return a message seeking comment. Russia’s government has denied any official connection to Wagner in the past.
Vladimir Putin's top ally sends terrifying message to EU parliament, here's what we know
Vladimir Putin's top ally sends terrifying message to EU parliament, here's what we knowThe ‘Wagner’ group is led by the notorious Russian magnate, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, an outspoken Vladimir Putin ally who has gained a lot of attention this year for his role thus far in the Ukraine War.
Prigozhin and Wagner areby the US, the UK and the European Union, though the group has only continued to gain strength and influence.
In September, Prigozhin acknowledged for the first time that he had founded the group, and that it had been active in Syria and other Arab states, as well as Africa and Latin America. He referred to it as “one of the pillars of our homeland.”
Russian state television has highlighted the group’s role in Ukraine. In September, video emerged of a man who bears a strong resemblance to Prigozhin offering an early release for prisoners who survive a six-month stint fighting at the front in Ukraine.
Western officials have also grown increasingly alarmed by Wagner’s presence in parts of Africa. The United Nations announced in March it was probing human rights abuses in Mali by Wagner mercenaries, whose deployment in the West African nation prompted France and its allies to withdraw forces.
Russia's Wagner mercenaries say forming border militia
The head of Russia's Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said Friday that his organisation had started training civilians in Russian regions bordering Ukraine to form a militia and build fortifications. "Wagner is helping and will keep helping the population in border areas to learn how to build engineering structures, to train and to organise a militia," Prigozhin was quoted as saying by the press service of his company Concord. He said that "a huge number of people are already ready to defend their land".
Sanctioning the Wagner Group could help the White House deflect pressure from some US lawmakers who have called on the Biden administration to name Putin’s government as a state sponsor of terrorism. In July, the Senate unanimously passed a nonbinding resolution urging Biden to do so. US officials have argued that current sanctions already achieve the same result and a designation could have unintended consequences such as blocking humanitarian transactions with Russia.
In an article, two former Central Intelligence Agency officials called for Wagner to be designated a foreign terrorist organization, saying that doing so “would bring a critical component of U.S. criminal law into play.”
“This is an important and necessary step toward ending Wagner Group’s utility to the Kremlin and, therefore, its existence,” James Patrila and Phil Wasielewski wrote in the blog Lawfare.
--With assistance from Courtney McBride.
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African former rebels recruited as mercenaries by the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group have been abandoned in Ukraine, a report says .
100 fighters from the Central African Republic were recruited by the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group to bolster Russia's invasion of Ukraine, The Daily Beast alleges.Around 100 former rebels from the Central African Republic, also known as CAR, were recruited by the shadowy Kremlin-linked private military contractor and sent to the front lines in the Donbas region of Ukraine eight months ago alongside Russian soldiers. They since have now lost contact with their Russian counterparts, two sources told the outlet.