U.S. labels Russia-backed Wagner Group as transnational criminal organization, imposes new sanctions


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Here's a preview of our story by reporter Stefan Becket:

The U.S. targeted the Russia-backed Wagner Group in a new round of sanctions on Thursday, labeling the mercenary group a transnational criminal organization and accusing it of atrocities in Ukraine and around the world.

The Treasury Department said it sanctioned eight individuals and 16 entities, many with ties to the Wagner Group. The organization is a private military contractor led by Yevgeniy Prigozhin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin who has also been sanctioned by the U.S. in the past.

"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 in a statement. "Today's expanded sanctions on Wagner, as well as new sanctions on their associates and other companies enabling the Russian military complex, will further impede Putin's ability to arm and equip his war machine."

The Wagner Group has roughly 50,000 personnel currently stationed in Ukraine, including 40,000 convicts who have been recruited from Russian jails, according to the White House. Its fighters have recently been involved in heavy fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, and forced Ukrainian troops to retreat from the town of Soledar this week.

Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/wagner-group-russia-us-sanctions-transnational-criminal-organization/

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