Yevgeny Prigozhin, director of the private military company (PMC) Wagner Group, wrote to the White House after the US designated the Russian company a transnational criminal organization. Photo/REUTERS
MOSCOW – Russian mercenary group, Wagner Group , has been designated as a transnational criminal organization by the United States (US) government. Not accepting it, Wagner’s boss sent a letter to the White House asking what crimes his company had committed.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, director of the private military company (PMC) Wagner Group, insists that his company is independent.
Prigozhin’s letter was sent after White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby announced Friday that the Wagner Group had been designated a transnational criminal organization.
Kirby said that Wagner has about 50,000 militiamen in Ukraine, 80 percent of which have been taken from prisons.
Also read: US Designates Wagner Group as a Transnational Criminal Organization
He revealed how US intelligence photographs from November showed North Korea supplying weapons to Wagner such as rockets and infantry missiles, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
“Wagner is a criminal organization that has committed widespread atrocities and human rights violations,” Kirby said.
According to him, the designation could pave the way for broader sanctions against the group’s global network, which reaches as far as Africa.
Prigozhin, in his letter, took issue with US views on the Wagner Group.
“Could you please clarify what crimes PMC Wagner committed,” wrote Prigozhin in a short letter in English and Russian which was shared on his Telegram channel, as quoted by Newsweek, Monday (23/1/2023).
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