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The White House warns of the rise of the Wagner group in Ukraine

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As Washington announced on Thursday that the Russian paramilitary group Wagner had received a first shipment of weapons from North Korea to support Russian troops in their offensive in Ukraine, the White House is concerned to see it become a ” rival” of the regular Russian army.

The White House delivered a serious warning Thursday, December 22 against the rise of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, according to it “rival” of the Russian regular army in Ukraine, and which now receives armament from North Korea.

“North Korea made a first delivery to Wagner, who paid for this equipment. Last month, (it) delivered shells and missiles to Russia intended for Wagner,” said John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council of the United States Executive.

The United States believes that Pyongyang “is considering delivering more equipment”, he said in an interview with reporters. “This is a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. The fact that President Putin is asking for help from North Korea shows that Russia is alone and desperate,” said the head of the country. British diplomacy James Cleverly.

The White House spokesman also estimated that Wagner currently has 50,000 troops deployed in Ukraine – 10,000 mercenaries and 40,000 recruited from Russian prisons. And that the organization was spending $100 million a month on its operations in the country.

Washington, which has already taken sanctions against this organization of mercenaries present in several theaters of conflict in the world, will take additional measures “in the coming weeks”, indicated John Kirby.

“The Russian army is counting on Wagner”

The paramilitary group is active in Syria, Libya, Sudan, and the Central African Republic. He was accused of participating in abuses in several places.

“It is obvious to us that Wagner is on the way to becoming a rival power to the regular Russian army and other Russian ministries,” the spokesman said, assuring that the group’s leader’s influence in the Kremlin , Yevgeni Prigojine, was only “increasing”.

“For months, the Russian army has relied on Wagner to lead the fight in certain areas of Donbass (eastern Ukraine) and in some cases, Russian officers are actually subject to Wagner’s orders”, detailed John Kirby . He assured that Wagner’s forces “poorly equipped and badly trained”, suffered “heavy losses” on the battlefield.

The American spokesman thus estimated that Wagner had lost 1,000 men recently in Ukraine. Evguéni Prigojine, who has “no consideration for human life”, “sends Russian men to the butchery in Bakhmout”, a town on the front where fighting is raging, said John Kirby.

“He seems to be much more interested in his influence in the Kremlin than in the men he recruits to fight in Ukraine. All that matters to him is to look good to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” said- he still asserted.

With AFP


France 24 Europe Fr Trans

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