UK May Soon Designate Wagner Group As A Terrorist Organization

( – The Wagner Group, the mercenary group historically used by the Russian government for military operations, which also recently attempted to overthrow President Vladimir Putin, may soon be designated as a terrorist organization by the United Kingdom.

According to the BBC, a draft order proposed in the British Parliament, if passed, will allow for Wagner assets to be seized by the government and classified as terrorist property. Though mercenary groups are technically illegal under Russian law, the Wagner Group has a history of being Russia’s principal private military organization. The mercenary group has historically been a key tool in advancing Russia’s foreign policy interests in both Ukraine and Africa since its founding in 2014.

The Parliament’s foreign affairs committee has pursued harsher penalties for the organization, proposing to sanction the Wagner Group’s complicated web of entities. The BBC also reported that British Home Secretary Suella Braverman referred to the Wagner Group as “violent and destructive,” and that it was a “tool” used by Vladimir Putin alongside the Russian military.

The news comes as Wagner Group leader, Yevgeny Prigohzin, was recently killed when his private jet crashed over Russian territory. His death followed a failed coup against Putin after a military dispute between Russian and Wagner forces. Prigozhin accused Russian forces of bombing Wagner military installations in Ukraine. In retaliation, he began to march his forces to Moscow.

The coup was later dissolved after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko brokered a peace deal between Prigozhin and Putin. Prigozhin agreed to be exiled along with his forces to Belarus in exchange for the Russian government not pursuing criminal charges against him. Many have speculated that Prigozhin’s death was a coordinated assassination plot by Putin as revenge for the attempted coup.

Wagner soldiers have also been accused of committing crimes against civilians. Ukrainian prosecutors have recently accused three Wagner soldiers of killing and torturing civilians near Kyiv in April 2022 alongside Russian troops. Intelligence reports from Germany also suggest that Wagner forces may have massacred civilians in the Ukrainian city of Bucha alongside Russian soldiers in March 2022.

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