Russia’s Wagner classified as a terrorist group in UK | world news
The Russian Wagner Group is understood to be officially classified as a terrorist organization in the UK.
Following calls from the French parliament to the European Union, mercenaries from the paramilitary group are expected to be classified equally as members of Isis and al-Qaeda.
A ban would make it a criminal offense to associate with Wagner, promote his support, publicly display his logo, or attend his meetings.
A government source quoted by The Times said the move was “imminent” and likely to be implemented within weeks after two months of drafting a legal case.
Led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy oligarch sometimes nicknamed “Putin’s cook” for catering to the Kremlin, the group has recently been heavily involved in Russia’s effort to seize Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.
The city of once 70,000 people has been under Russian attack for more than nine months, with Wagner leading repeated advance attempts.
Although ostensibly a private military company, it is in fact seen as a de facto extension of the Russian army.
Most recently, his mercenaries have been accused of being behind several ISIS-style executions of Ukrainians.
Footage shared on social media shows the hired soldiers beheading POWs by slitting their throats with knives and then fracturing their spines.
Earlier on Tuesday, Putin used the Victory Day Parade in Moscow to accuse the West of unleashing a “real war” against the country with its “untamed ambitions”.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State James Cleverly stressed that international allies must continue to support Ukraine to uphold the principle that “powerful nations cannot raid their neighbors with impunity.”
Visiting the US, Mr Cleverly said: “Things are complicated, things are messy, things are difficult, things get scary.”
“We will expect to hear escalating words from Vladimir Putin’s mouth – we must be prepared for this, we must have the determination to continue to do the right thing despite these comments.”
The Labor Party said in February it wanted ministers to follow the US lead after labeling Wagner a “major transnational criminal organisation”.
In a joint statement, Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: “The Wagner Group is responsible for the appalling atrocities in Ukraine and around the world.”
“Nobody in the UK should be allowed to belong to, support or promote the Wagner Group.”
Contact our news team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more stories like this, Check out our news page.