Ukraine’s parliament designates Wagner Group an international criminal organization
Thousands of Wagner Group mercenaries are fighting against the Ukrainian army (Photo:Igor Russak/File Photo/Reuters)
The Verkhovna Rada declared Russia’s Wagner Group mercenary company to be an international criminal organization on Feb. 6, with the corresponding resolution No. 8397 being voted for by 333 MPs, Yaroslav Zheleznyak, an MP from the Holos party, has said on Telegram.
Another, resolution, No. 3735, was also adopted, by 336 votes, and called on the world community to recognize all Russian private military companies as terrorist organizations.
In the first resolution, which mentions the Wagner Group, it is said that in the war against Ukraine, Russia’s mercenaries use criminal methods that are indiscriminate and “threaten the life and health of the civilian population, have signs of a massive violation of international humanitarian law.”
“Members of the Wagner mercenary company are responsible for numerous cases of unlawful and unjustified military necessity use of weapons against the civilian population of Ukraine, acts of cruelty and ill-treatment, forced displacement of civilians, rape, kidnapping of children, mass executions, as well as armed attacks on healthcare and educational institutions,” the resolution reads.
The Rada also called on the governments and parliaments of countries around the world to recognize the Wagner Group as an international criminal organization based on the nature of its activities in Ukraine, the Central African Republic, Mali, Libya and Syria.
The Prosecutor General’s Office, the SBU Security Service and other law enforcement agencies of Ukraine were recommended to intensify their pre-trial investigation of alleged criminal offenses by Wagner Group mercenaries. Cases must be submitted to the court in accordance with the procedure established by law.
Wagner mercenaries have been fighting in Ukraine since 2014, and have also been engaged in hostilities against the Ukrainian army since the beginning of the full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation.
Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is close to dictator Vladimir Putin, admitted that he created Wagner Group in 2014 for the war against Ukraine.
According to UK intelligence, the Wagner Group has recruited some 50,000 mercenaries for the war against Ukraine.
U.S. national security spokesman John Kirby stated that of this number, 10,000 are contracted soldiers, and the rest are prisoners recruited from Russian prisons and colonies.
He also added that Prigozhin spends more than $100 million a month to finance the operations of the Wagner Group in Ukraine.
There were also data that the Russian Federation was transferring Wagner’s mercenaries to Syria, Mali and the Central African Republic.
Wagner selects for recruitment inmates serving sentences for crimes such as murder, serious bodily harm, robbery, and larceny.
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