The United States will choose the. Russian mercenary Wegner Group as a “significant transnational . Wagner Criminal organization” and impose further sanctions against . The organization and its support network next week. The White House said on Friday.
“These actions recognize the . Transcontinental threat posed by Wagner’s ongoing pattern of serious . Criminal activity,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters Friday.
The United States “will work to identify, disrupt, expose and target those . Who are assisting Wagner,” Kirby said. Whom he accused of “widespread atrocities and human. Rights violations.”
Kirby also said the White House will release . Public images of Russian railcars receiving . Shipments from North Korea in November. He said the United States believed it had supplied anti-personnel rockets and . Missiles for use by the Wagner group.
Kirby said the U.S. does not believe. The material supplied to Wagner will change the dynamics of . The battlefield in Ukraine. “We expect that it will continue to adopt North Korea’s weapons system,” he said.
He added that the arms transfer violated UN Security Council resolutions.
In December, the Biden administration designated Wagner a military end user.
The Wagner group is headed by. Yevgeny Prigozhin, a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The millionaire former restaurateur earned the nickname “Putin’s Chef” for state events.
The group has provided aid to the Russian military during conflicts in Syria and . Libya and recruited former prisoners as soldiers-for-hire in . Russia’s war against Ukraine, promising donations and amnesty in exchange for services.
Despite longstanding ties to the Kremlin. Prigogine has recently fallen out with the Russian military. which last week accused him of “trying to steal . Wagner’s victory” after the country’s defense ministry claimed . A military victory at Soledar without crediting his company.
At a news conference Friday. Kirby said intelligence showed the divide between mercenary groups and . Moscow had widened, even as Putin turned to. The organization for critical support.
“Wagner is becoming a rival power center to. The Russian military and other Russian ministries. Kirby said, adding that Prigozhin is trying to advance his . Personal interests in Ukraine and that Wagner’s group is “making military decisions – – on . What they base. Omit positive publicity. Will make for Prigogine.”
Kirby estimated that . Wagner’s mercenaries currently fighting in Ukraine included 10,000 contractors. And 40,000 convicts.
When Reuters asked Prigogine about the new . US surname, he said Wagner “and the Americans are colleagues. From now on, our relationship can be called “gang war”.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has not commented on the video.
In a video released Monday. . Ukraine where he saw the abuse and execution of former prisoners who refused to fight. He said his own contract was extended.
He said the group . Stopped treating us as human beings and started treating us . like cannon fodder” and worried. That Wagner was following him and that he was “at risk of death”.
. Bullets of border patrol dogs and guards at the . Russian border and ran through a forest and an icy lake to escape to Norway.
The Wagner Group has not commented on his allegations.