Currently, there are about 50 thousand “Wagnerites” in Ukraine. More than 90% of them are recruited prisoners.
This was told by the coordinator of the White House National Security Council, Admiral John Kirby. Based on US intelligence data, he stated that 10,000 “Wagnerites” were contract soldiers, and the remaining 40,000 were convicted.
“Zeks” are thrown into battle without preparation
According to Kirby, PMC “Wagner” is becoming a center of power, competing with the Russian Ministry of Defense. Russian President Vladimir Putin is increasingly relying on mercenaries to carry out operations in Ukraine.
More than 90% of Wagner PMC members are ex-prisoners who they pulled out of prison without any training and thrown into battle, – said the admiral.
On January 20, the United States recognized the Wagner PMC as a transnational criminal organization that opens up various mechanisms to undermine its work. Now a wider range of countries and institutions will be able to cut off the money flowing to mercenaries.
According to CNN Recall that next week the US Department of the Treasury will also introduce new sanctions against this group and its global allies.
< p>“These actions recognize the transcontinental threat posed by the Wagner Air Force, including due to its ongoing serious criminal activity,” Kirby explained.
North Korea supplied weapons to Russia
As part of its case against PMC Wagner, the US Treasury released a satellite image showing that North Korea is supplying weapons to Russia.
The photo shows Russian railcars, who were traveling from Russia to North Korea and back in November. Most likely, this was the first delivery of infantry missiles and shells for use by the soldiers of the PMC “Wagner” in Ukraine.
“We saw how representatives of the North Korean authorities falsely denied the supply of weapons for the Wagner air defense complex,” the admiral recalled, noting that the United States had already provided evidence of this.
The United States does not believe that this somehow influenced on the dynamics of hostilities. However, according to Kirby, even more weapons systems could be delivered from North Korea to Russia. In addition, the occupiers receive equipment, including drones, from Iran.
“Arms deliveries (from North Korea – Channel 24) are in direct violation of the UN Security Council resolution,” the official said.
He added that the United States had already shared its intelligence with a panel of experts from the Security Council Committee on North Korean Sanctions.
On the same day, a senior Western intelligence official also stated that the West was “clearly concerned that North Korea may be planning to expand and supply more military equipment or maintain these supplies.”
Northern K oreya supplied weapons for PMC “Wagner”/US government photo