Wagner’s Prigozhin earned $250 million by plundering African and Middle Eastern countries, FT reports

21 February, 11:39 PM
Yevgeny Prigozhin (Photo:FBI)

Yevgeny Prigozhin (Photo:FBI)

Since 2018, the owner of Russian private military company Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has earned more than $250 million from the extraction of resources in Africa and the Middle East – despite international sanctions – the Financial Times reported on Feb. 21.

Wagner mercenaries have been accused of human rights abuses, including murder, torture and rape, in nearly every country they have been present. According to FT, Western sanctions against Prigozhin didn’t prevent him from making money on the extraction of oil, gas, diamonds, and gold.

In 2018, the United States imposed sanctions against Prigozhin’s company Evro Polis, which received energy concessions from Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in exchange for “using mercenaries to liberate oil fields from ISIS during the civil war in the country.” Despite the sanctions, the company reported $134 million in revenue for 2020 and a net income of $90 million.

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Sudanese gold mining company M Invest came under U.S. sanctions in 2020. FT writes that it still made $2.6 million in sales the following year. The two companies that reportedly supplied large amounts of equipment to entities that Wagner supports in Sudan and the Central African Republic, had made more than $6 million in profits by the end of 2021.

According to Washington, Wagner has lost more than 30,000 troops in Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, including 9,000 KIA. 90% of Wagner mercenaries eliminated in Ukraine in December 2022 were recruited convicts.

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