Wagner Group flag Image ID 2R91Y5J 281116 CREDIT iliya Mitskovets Alamy Stock Photo
Proscription would make it a criminal offence to join Wagner or encourage support for it (Picture: Iliya Mitskovets / Alamy Stock Photo).
Russia

UK to declare Wagner a terrorist organisation

Wagner Group flag Image ID 2R91Y5J 281116 CREDIT iliya Mitskovets Alamy Stock Photo
Proscription would make it a criminal offence to join Wagner or encourage support for it (Picture: Iliya Mitskovets / Alamy Stock Photo).

Russian mercenary group Wagner is to be declared a terrorist organisation by the UK government.

A draft proscription order will be laid against Wagner Group in Parliament on Wednesday, which once passed will make it illegal to be a member of, or support, the group.

Wagner had played a key role in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as well as operating in Syria and countries in Africa including Libya and Mali.

The Home Office said proscription of the group comes after consideration of the nature and scale of the organisation’s activities as well as the threat they pose to British nationals abroad.

It will mean the Wagner's assets can also be categorised as terrorist property and seized, with certain proscription offences punishable by up to 14 years in jail.

Other proscribed organisations in the UK include Hamas and Boko Haram.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: "Wagner is a violent and destructive organisation which has acted as a military tool of Vladimir Putin’s Russia overseas.

"While Putin’s regime decides what to do with the monster it created, Wagner’s continuing destabilising activities only continue to serve the Kremlin’s political goals.

"They are terrorists, plain and simple – and this proscription order makes that clear in UK law. Wagner has been involved in looting, torture and barbarous murders. Its operations in Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa are a threat to global security.

"That is why we are proscribing this terrorist organisation and continuing to aid Ukraine wherever we can in its fight against Russia."

It comes after Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was killed in a plane crash last month.

The crash occurred exactly two months after Mr Prigozhin mounted a short-lived armed rebellion against Russia’s military leadership, posing the biggest challenge to President Vladimir Putin’s authority in his 23-year rule.

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