Russian mercenary group Wagner might be declared a terrorist organisation, the Home Office has mentioned.
A draft proscription order might be laid in parliament on Wednesday, which is able to make it unlawful to be a member of, or assist the Russian group within the UK.
Certain proscription offences might be punishable by as much as 14 years in jail.
As a part of the order, Wagner‘s property might be categorised as terrorist property and seized.
The group, which was led by Yevgeny Prigozhin till he was killed in a aircraft crash final month, has performed a outstanding position within the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
It has additionally been energetic in conflicts in Syria, the Central African Republic, Sudan and Libya.
The Home Office mentioned it thought-about the character and scale of the organisation’s actions in addition to the risk they pose to British nationals overseas in deciding on the proscription order.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman mentioned: “Wagner is a violent and destructive organisation which has acted as a military tool of Vladimir Putin‘s Russia overseas.
“While Putin’s regime decides what to do with the monster it created, Wagner’s persevering with destabilising actions solely proceed to serve the Kremlin’s political objectives.
“They are terrorists, plain and simple – and this proscription order makes that clear in UK law.
“Wagner has been involved in looting, torture and barbarous murders. Its operations in Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa are a threat to global security.
“That is why we’re proscribing this terrorist organisation and persevering with to help Ukraine wherever we are able to in its battle towards Russia.”
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Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy has beforehand referred to as for Wagner to be handled as a terrorist organisation.
The crash that killed Prigozhin occurred precisely two months after he mounted a short-lived armed rise up towards Russia’s army management, posing the most important problem to Mr Putin’s authority in his 23-year rule.