In a significant development on September 15, 2023, at 07:04 PM IST, the United Kingdom officially designated Russia’s Wagner Group as a terrorist organization. This decisive action by the UK comes in the wake of Wagner Group’s activities in Moscow and subsequent withdrawal.
Last week, the decision to proscribe Wagner Group as a terrorist entity was announced, rendering membership or support for the group illegal. The UK Parliament received a draft order to categorize Wagner Group’s assets as terrorist property, paving the way for their seizure, as stated by the Interior Ministry.
Interior Minister Suella Braverman, upon the public announcement, characterized Wagner Group as “violent and destructive.” She emphasized that the group had functioned as a “military instrument of Vladimir Putin’s Russia abroad.” She unequivocally labeled them as terrorists, emphasizing that the proscription order unequivocally establishes this status in UK law.
The official statement further highlighted Wagner Group’s notoriety for engaging in looting and committing “barbarous murders” across regions such as Ukraine, the Middle East, and Africa.
In a notable turn of events in June, Wagner mercenaries declared a rebellion and briefly seized the Army headquarters in Rostov-on-Don before advancing towards Moscow with the aim of destabilizing the military and toppling the Russian government. Their actions received mixed reactions, with some civilians opposing them while others viewed leader Yevgeny Prigozhin as a challenger to a perceived “corrupt” government during his “march of justice.” However, the rebellion was short-lived as Wagner Group retracted its advance “to prevent bloodshed.”
Several months later, Russian media reported that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of the mercenaries, was on board a plane that crashed north of Moscow. This incident occurred two months after Prigozhin led a brief mutiny against Russia’s military leadership.