The UK condemned North Korea for supplying weapons to a Russian mercenary group fighting in Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine. | Daily News Byte

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Following the US release of information that North Korea was supplying weapons to the Russian mercenary group Wagner in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, Secretary of State James Chaturai said:

The UK supports the US assessment that North Korea has completed the delivery of weapons to Russia for use by the Wagner group, which paid for the equipment and has thousands of troops in Ukraine. This is a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions. The fact that President Putin is turning to North Korea for help is a sign of Russia’s desperation and isolation. We will work with our partners to ensure that North Korea pays a high price for supporting Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine.

Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin has been under UK sanctions since 2020. In November 2022 the UK sanctioned two men for recruiting prisoners into the Wagner group, which has been linked to some of the worst atrocities in Russia’s illegal war.

Background:

President Putin has increasingly turned to Wagner, which is owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, for military support in Ukraine. Prigozhin is spending more than $100 million a month on Wagner’s operations in Ukraine. Wagner is recruiting prisoners to fight in Ukraine, including those with serious medical conditions.

For months, the Russian military has relied on Wagner to lead combat operations in parts of the Donbass. In some cases, Russian military officers actually obeyed Wagner’s orders. We estimate that Wagner has 50,000 personnel stationed in Ukraine, including 10,000 contractors and 40,000 convicts.

Wagner is playing a key role in Bakhmut where his ill-equipped and untrained forces are suffering heavy casualties. Nearly 1,000 Wagner fighters have been killed in combat in recent weeks, and 90 percent of those deaths were at fault. At recent dates, Ukraine appears to have repelled an invasion by Wagner forces in Bakhmut.

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