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Treasury Department sanctions Wagner group and its partners aiding Russia in Ukraine war

The Treasury Department has imposed additional sanctions on the Wagner mercenary group and related entities. On Friday, White House National Security Council coordinator John Kirby accused Wagner of obtaining arms from North Korea. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI
The Treasury Department has imposed additional sanctions on the Wagner mercenary group and related entities. On Friday, White House National Security Council coordinator John Kirby accused Wagner of obtaining arms from North Korea. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The United States Treasury Department has imposed additional sanctions on the Wagner mercenary group and its related entities.

The announcement comes as the State Department imposes its own measures against Wagner.

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"Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is taking additional actions to degrade the Russian Federation's capacity to wage war against Ukraine by sanctioning six individuals and 12 entities," reads a press release from the Treasury Department Thursday.

"Today, the Wagner Group is being redesignated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13581, as amended by E.O. 13863, for being a foreign person that constitutes a significant transnational criminal organization," the press release continued.

The Wagner group has played an outsized role in recent Russian military advances, with founder Yevgeniy Prigozhin openly feuding with the Russian Ministry of Defense over who should get credit for the Russian seizure of Soledar.

The Treasury Department says Wagner has "engaged in an ongoing pattern of serious criminal activity, including mass executions, rape, child abductions, and physical abuse in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Mali."

Wagner's human rights violations have been documented on multiple continents. In 2017 Wagner mercenaries filmed themselves murdering and decapitating a Syrian man who had previously escaped military service. In 2022, Wagner forces and pro-government militia members executed hundreds of civilians in the Malian village of Moura.

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"As sanctions and export controls on Russia from our international coalition continue to bite, the Kremlin is desperately searching for arms and support - including through the brutal Wagner Group - to continue its unjust war against Ukraine," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.

On Friday, White House National Security Council coordinator, John Kirby, announced the upcoming Wagner designation and shared satellite photos purporting to show arms transfers from North Korea to Wagner.

Among the sanctioned entities and individuals:

  • Sewa Security Services, a Wagner subsidiary that provides training and protection to pro-government forces in the Central African Republic.
  • Officer's Union for International Security, a Wagner front company that supports Russian advisers in the Central African Republic.
  • Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Ivanov, the director of the Officer's Union for International Security.
  • Kratol Aviation, a United Arab Emirates-based aviation company that provides transport aircraft to support Wagner deployments in Africa.
  • Valery Nikolayevich Zakharov, a Wagner employee who served as a security adviser to the Central African Republic government.

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