Renew Europe denounces the breach of international humanitarian law by Wagner Group and other paramilitary groups

Author: Lucian Goleanu

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The Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament strongly condemns the heinous crimes committed by the Wagner Group and related private military entities. In a resolution, today debated in plenary, we denounced the alleged war crimes and systemic violations of human rights and international humanitarian law reported in relation to the activities of these paramilitary groups and for most of it no one has yet been held to account. We also underlined the strong indications that the Russian State bears responsibility for the funding, training, protection and operational command of those paramilitary groups used by the Kremlin to spread its influence in various conflict areas. These facts were confirmed by the independent investigative organisation, Bellingcat, last week.

The Russian Wagner Group and its men were first reported in 2014 alongside pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine. Since then, activities of personnel working for Wagner Group have been reported in Central African Republic, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Mozambique.

United Nations experts recently reported that civilians in the Central African Republic have been executed or intimidated by so-called “Russian instructors” from the Wagner Group. The European Parliament, deeply concerned over signs that the transitional authority of Mali has been contemplating using the Wagner Group, urges Mali not to proceed in this direction.

Renew Europe MEP, Nathalie Loiseau (Renaissance Delegation, France), Chair of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence, who negotiated the resolution on behalf of our Group, said:

“The Wagner group does more than just massively violate human rights. It thrives on the distress of the countries where it is rife. I commend the European Union, which has decided to sanction the Wagner group, and I urge it to act quickly and strongly against these sowers of hate and death."

ENDS