One of the mercenaries who fought in Ukraine and was recruited by Wagner PMC from the Russian colony was a former member of an organized crime group and tortured his victims with boiling water, media reported on the eve . This is Anton Ionov, nicknamed Syapa, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2018.
Presumably, it is unclear on what grounds he was granted amnesty for his participation in the war, like a number of other mercenaries identified by journalists based on the video.
Meanwhile, this week the united states Treasury Department plans to put the Wagner PMC on the list of significant transnational criminal organizations, as John Kirby, spokesman for the united states National Security Council, the said earlier.
This measure means not only the imposition of additional sanctions against the Wagner PMC itself, but also a legal possibility for the American authorities to prosecute the Wagner PMC and the companies and organizations around the world that do business with Yevgeny’s structures. Prigozhin.
According to Kirby, the measures introduced will help Ukraine repel Russian aggression, since, according to American estimates, Wagner PMC sent about 50,000 people to the war, including 10,000 professional fighters and 40,000 prisoners from Russian prisons.
“Monster Has Gained Strength”
The decision to recognize the Wagner CHKV as a terrorist organization is entirely justified and long overdue, “if not overripe”, believes the blogger and publicist. Igor Yakovenko. According to him, this “necessary and possible” should have been done a long time ago.
“During this time, the monster has grown in strength,” he said in an interview with Voice of America’s Russian service. “Under the patronage of the country’s top leaders, Prigozhin and its structures have spread their influence almost all over the world, including the Middle East and Africa.”
According to pentagon estimates, Yevgeny Prigozhin spends around $100 million every month to maintain the Wagner PMC.
However, of course, Washington’s decision may significantly complicate the criminal organization’s foreign policy activities, the journalist said: “This is especially true for countries on the African continent, where Prigozhin (read: Vladimir Putin) has serious business interests. It is unlikely that local kings will now take the risk of openly continuing their cooperation with Russian mercenaries, fearing to incur international sanctions. And it will become incomparably more difficult for Wagnerians to buy weapons from North Korea and other international pariahs.
The position of Wagner PMC will almost certainly become even more complicated due to the fact that, after the united states, the organization is recognized as a terrorist organization by other Western countries, admitted Igor Yakovenko. At the same time, it seems to him that Prigozhin will have no problems inside Russia in this regard.
“This gangster structure was not created and maintained in the Kremlin in order to ‘cover’ it under pressure from the West,” he added. “Putin seems to enjoy having dark and unbridled power in his hands. How he decides to get rid of her in the future, one can only guess. Perhaps the hammer of Prigozhin will become part of the new Russian coat of arms. Thus, the fate of Prigozhin is in the hands of his master.
Also, Igor Yakovenko did not exclude that the decision to recognize the Wagner PMC as a terrorist could serve as a basis for the united states to conduct a special operation against the leaders of the organization, as well as its groups. In this regard, he recalled the fate of former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
“PMC” Wagner “works approximately according to the same model as the oprichnina”
From the point of view of international prestige, Russia did not lose much from this decision, in turn, believes the political scientist Andrei Okara. Having lost your mind, you don’t cry for your hair, he quoted a proverb about it.
“As for the positions of Prigozhin’s ‘office’ in Africa, it is obvious that they will be undermined, but it is still difficult to judge by how much”, continued the interlocutor of Voice of America. – Apparently, the Wagnerians have serious interests and developments there. But their activities in Africa were completely opaque, based on certain agreements with the top of certain countries like the Central African Republic, Mali, etc. It is therefore premature to draw unambiguous conclusions here.
Probably, the measure introduced by the united states against the structures of Prigozhin should have a negative impact on the enthusiasm of local leaders to continue criminal contacts, suggested Andrey Okara: “First of all, because of the fear of secondary penalties. However, whether this will put an end to such “cooperation”, let’s wait and see. It is quite possible that the partners will try to camouflage their activities even more, using various joint companies, changing “signs”, etc.
Remember, speaking on behalf of the US government, Kirby cautioned anyone who is going to have a business relationship with Prigozhin: “We want to appeal to any company that is considering supporting Wagner with the following message: Wagner is a criminal organization that commits large-scale crimes. atrocities and human rights abuses, and we will work tirelessly to identify, expose and prosecute those who aid the Wagner PMC.
At the same time, the political scientist agrees that the organization’s prospects in Russia will not be affected by its new status. In his view, as long as Putin is in power, there is little threat to Prigogine.
“PMC” Wagner “operates approximately on the same model as the oprichnina in the 16th century under Tsar Ivan the Terrible – as a kind of structure that exists in parallel with state institutions,” he pointed out. – She has her own set of rules, which is completely indifferent to the laws established in the state. Hence the masses (with their help, the Wagnerians, in particular, crack down on the “traitors” in their ranks – VV) as a way to solve problems and everything else. Almost everything is possible for them within the limits of the powers and objectives assigned to them. They act with the blessing of the supreme power, and that says it all. Therefore, Wagner is an organization with a vague status, but huge opportunities.
Its fate directly depends on how the struggle in the “Kremlin district” for influence and resources between the Prigozhins and its competitors and villains, which are also lacking, will unfold, summarized Andrey Okara.