The Biden administration is weighing whether to label Russia’s Wagner Group as a foreign terrorist organization as part of efforts to handicap the privately owned military company’s involvement in Ukraine and its growing presence in Africa, two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg asking not to be identified discussing private deliberations. According to Bloomberg sources, there is no final decision on the designation, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations.
Known as “Putin’s chef” because his catering business hosted dinners attended by the Russian president, the group’s leader Yevgeny Prigozhin is considered a major ally of the Russian president and supporter of his war effort in Ukraine. Prigozhin and Wagner are already sanctioned by the US, the UK, and the EU, though the group has only continued to gain strength and influence. Labeling the group a foreign terrorist organization would allow the US to pursue criminal prosecution against the group and its mercenaries, as well as go after its assets around the globe.
- New Russian PMC to compete with Prigozhin’s Wagner, recruit criminals – Ukraine’s intelligence
- Russian prisoner numbers fall by a record 23,000 amid Wagner PMC recruitment campaign
- Russia’s Wagner Group financier Prigozhin continues to rely on ineffective convicts to staff his forces – ISW
- Wagner financier Prigozhin becoming political force in Russia – ISW
- Russia involves more than 8,000 Wagner PMC fighters in war against Ukraine – intel report