UK set to declare Russia's Wagner as 'terrorist organization'

Russian private military company (PMC) Wagner Group is set to be proscribed as a terrorist organization by the British government, according to the UK Home Office.

In a statement on Wednesday, the ministry said a draft order, due to be laid before parliament, will allow Wagner's assets in the UK to be categorized as terrorist property and seized by the British government.

According to the draft order, it would be illegal to be a member of the group and/or support the organization in any way such as promoting it to the public, organizing or attending its meetings, and showing its logo.

The Wagner Group is "violent and destructive ... a military tool of Vladimir Putin's Russia," UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman told the BBC. "They are terrorists, plain and simple - and this proscription order makes that clear in UK law."

The Wagner Group, officially known as PMC Wagner, is a private military company founded in 2014. It began to operate in the war for Donbas, where it operated with regular Russian army units, and its membership of forces over the years grew from several hundred to tens of thousands, with the alleged support from Moscow.

Wagner fighters, since 2015, have actively participated in Russia's military operations, including against Western-backed Takfiri and separatist terrorism in Syria, in the liberation of Palmyra, Deir ez-Zor, and Ghouta near Damascus.

African states such as Sudan, Central African Republic, Mali, Mozambique, and Libya also employed Wagner forces to fight various rebel and terrorist groups wreaking havoc on the countries.

Wagner fighters have reportedly fought against the Ukrainians in eastern Ukraine for months, focusing their efforts on the small city of Bakhmut, which Russia sees as a stepping stone to liberate bigger cities like Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

The group's greatest contribution was fighting alongside Russian troops in the battle for Artyomovsk, which drastically depleted Ukrainian manpower and military equipment.

The group has made small but steady gains against Ukrainian troops fighting for the frontline town in the Donetsk region.

Earlier, the UK had sanctioned the now-dead Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Moreover, the Wagner Group, as a whole entity, was sanctioned in March 2022.

The move to declare the Russian PMC as a terrorist organization comes after UK lawmakers on the Foreign Affairs Committee in July urged the government to devise targeted sanctions on what it described as a "web of entities" working for the Wagner Group.


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