Measures follow WSJ investigation of Russian paramilitary group’s global expansion
WASHINGTON—The U.S. government imposed sanctions Tuesday on the gold and diamond operations of the paramilitary group Wagner in an attempt to undercut the funding of the Russian organization that has dispatched tens of thousands of soldiers to the war in Ukraine.
The sanctions target four companies that operate in the Central African Republic, the United Arab Emirates, Mali and Russia and are connected to the group’s founder and owner, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
U.S. Treasury officials had long planned to enact the sanctions, according to a State Department official, but hesitated briefly to avoid taking sides in the short-lived mutiny that resulted in a break between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prigozhin.
Under the sanctions the U.S. will block any financial transactions by the newly targeted entities and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them. Two of the operations in CAR, Midas Resources and Diamville, were revealed as Wagner entities involved in the gold and diamond business in a recent WSJ video investigation, “Shadow Men”.
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