Advertisement

Timeline: Mercenary group has been fighting in Ukraine since 2014

Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin speaks as he stands next to two coffins covered by U.S. and Turkish flags in Bakhmut, Ukraine, on May 25. Photo courtesy of Press service of Prigozhin/UPI
1 of 3 | Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin speaks as he stands next to two coffins covered by U.S. and Turkish flags in Bakhmut, Ukraine, on May 25. Photo courtesy of Press service of Prigozhin/UPI | License Photo

June 24 (UPI) -- The Wagner Group of mercenaries, led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, has been fighting on Russia's behalf in Crimea and the Donbas region of Ukraine since 2014.

They have also been active in the Middle East, Mali and the Central African Republic. The group has been accused of repeated war crimes and human rights abuses.

Advertisement

Here are some key events in the group's recent involvement in the Ukraine war, leading to conflict with the Russian military over supplies and leadership that has escalated this weekend with Wagner forces seizing Russian military sites.

Saturday: The Wagner Group seizes military sites in southern Russia.

Friday: Prigozhin accused Russia of launching a missile strike on his troops and vowed retaliation. Russian authorities accused him of fomenting a coup.

June 10: The Russian military announced "volunteer formations" would need to sign contracts with the military.

June 2: Prigozhin gave an interview in which he lambasted the Russian minister of defense and the elites who shield their sons from battle.

May 26: The United States sanctions the Wagner Group for sourcing weapons through Mali.

Advertisement

May 25: Prigozhin announced Wagner has seized Bakhmut, Ukraine, and would turn it over to the Russian army.

May 5: Prigozhin threatened to pull his troops out of Bakhmut for lack of ammunition that was causing "useless and unjustified losses."

April 13: The European Union sanctions the Wagner Group for aiding Russia in the war.

March 3: On a secret trip to Ukraine, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland calls Prigozhin a war criminal.

Feb. 3: Ukraine presses war crimes charges against Prigozhin.

Jan. 26: The United States increases sanctions on Wagner.

Jan. 13: Wagner feuds with Russian officials over credit for battlefield successes.

Dec. 22: The United States announced its belief that North Korea had supplied arms to the Wagner Group and that "Wagner is emerging as a rival power center to the Russian military."

Aug. 15: Ukraine forces reported that they had wiped out Wagner's headquarters in eastern Ukraine.

Latest Headlines