A shipment of arms from North Korea was delivered to the Wagner Group by the private Russian military firm. This is a signal of Russia’s growing involvement in the conflict.
John Kirby of the White House National Security Council spoke out to reporters, saying that Wagner is looking for arms suppliers around the globe in order to support its military operations against Ukraine.
We can confirm that North Korea delivered an initial arm delivery to Wagner. Wagner paid for the equipment. Kirby stated that North Korea sent infantry missiles and rockets to Russia last month for Wagner’s use.
Reuters first reported the news. After Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014, the Wagner Group was established. This sparked separatist rebellions in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas.
Kirby stated that the United States believes Wagner is deployed in Ukraine with 50,000 people, which includes 10,000 contractors as well as 40,000 Russian prisoners.
According to the U.S., the North Korean material will not alter the battle dynamics of Ukraine. However, Pyongyang was expecting more military equipment.
After the White House claimed that Pyongyang had been secretly providing Russia with “significant” numbers of artillery guns, North Korea stated it has never done arms deals with Russia.
A request to comment was not received by the Russian and North Korean missions at New York’s United Nations.
United States of America accused Pyongyang, Moscow and others of violating U.N. Sanctions on North Korea. It will provide its details to the U.N. Security Council’s North Korea sanctions committee. Linda Thomas-Greenfield was the Ambassador to United Nations.
Experts say that Pyongyang built both ballistic and shorter-range missiles.
Kirby stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin is increasingly turning to the Wagner Group owned by Yevgeny Privgozhin for assistance in Ukraine. This was where Russian forces failed to overthrow the Kyiv government.
The Wagner Group was accused of conducting clandestine activities on behalf Kremlin by the European Union, which has now placed sanctions against it.
Putin stated that the Russian government does not recognize the Russian military contractor group, however private contractors can work in any country as long as they respect Russian law.
In an attempt to reduce its supply, the Biden administration announced Wednesday new restrictions on technology exports from Wagner Group.
Kirby stated that more sanctions will be imposed on the company and its international support group over the coming weeks.
Kirby stated that Prigozhin, a Russian businessman, spends more than $100 millions per month on Wagner’s operations in Ukraine. However, Kirby noted that Prigozhin has had problems recruiting Russians for the fight.
A group of veterans from the Russian military has formed the Wagner Group. They have fought, among others, in Libya, Syria and the Central African Republic.
U.S. intelligence suggests that Wagner played a significant role in the Battle for Bakhmut in Ukraine. There have been heavy casualties with around 1,000 Wagner fighters being killed there in recent weeks. Most of these were convicts Kirby stated.
Kirby stated that Prigozhin is growing in influence within Russia and that his group’s independence of the Russian Defense Ministry has “only increased and elevated” over the past 10 months, but did not provide any evidence.
Kirby stated that there were instances when Russian military officers in Ukraine had been subordinated to Wagner forces.
Prigozhin also criticized Russian defense officers and generals for their actions since the invasion.