Novaya Gazeta – December 13, 2021
The European Union imposed sanctions on the Wagner PMC because of its activities in Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Mozambique and Ukraine. The full list of companies and individuals is published in the official journal of the EU.
In Libya, restrictions were imposed on Alexander Kuznetsov, named in the document as the commander of one of the units of the Wagner PMC. Because of the actions in Ukraine, the European Union imposed restrictions on three individuals: Dmitry Utkin (founder of PMC, his call sign – “Wagner”), Denis Kharitonov (deputy of the Astrakhan Regional Duma, mercenary) and Sergey Shcherbakov (freelance employee of the GRU and mercenary, according to the publication), – in Syria – on two: Andrei Troshev (named chief of staff of “Wagner”) and Andrei Bogatov (alleged head of the 4th reconnaissance and assault company).
In the section on sanctions for human rights violations, two more names are named: Stanislav Dychko (mercenary) and Valery Zakharov (adviser to the President of the Central African Republic on national security). As established by Novaya Gazeta, the former was involved in the murder of Syrian Mohammed Elismail, who was dismembered by alleged militants of the Wagner PMC in 2017.
In addition, because of the activities in Syria, the EU imposed sanctions against three companies: “Velada”, “Mercury” and “Euro Policy”. All of them are involved in the gas and fuel sectors in this country. Euro Polis “is used as a cover for the Wagner PMC in Syria. He signed a number of contracts with the Syrian regime through the state-owned company General Petroleum. Corp., which receives 25% of the proceeds from oil and gas production in the fields seized by the Wagner Group.” The document notes that all three companies support the current Syrian regime.
A month ago, France said the EU was preparing sanctions against the Wagner PMC following reports of its possible deployment in Mali. Then the media learned that the authorities of the latter were negotiating with the group, and told about the presence of its fighters in Libya. Officially, the Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the Malian authorities had turned to a Russian private military company to assist in the fight against terrorists. At the same time, the Russian authorities described the activities of the PMC as “protective and advisory” and do not believe that its actions contradict the laws on mercenarism.
“Pmc Wagner” is associated with the Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, for the first time about Russian mercenaries in the region became known two years ago. Earlier this year, President Vladimir Putin allowed the presence of mercenaries from Russia in the country, adding that they “do not represent the interests of the Russian state.”