These recommendations were composed by the team of Russian and Belarusian Studies Program of Ukrainian Prism as a result of their research and expert discussion that took place in Kyiv on 24 May 2023.
- Raise the question of designating the “Wagner PMC” as a terrorist organization at the level of international organizations, primarily within the framework of the UN Security Council.
- Carry out the process of collecting evidence of the affiliation of the “Wagner PMC” to the Russian state, particularly in the context of committing crimes on the territory of Ukraine, with the aim of holding accountable not individuals but the state as a whole. This approach should not solely rely on uncovering the links between Russia and the “Wagner PMC”, because the latter is not a part of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, but rather on proving the fact that Russia’s commanders exercised effective control over the operations in which relevant violations were committed.
- Commence the collecting of evidence aimed at proving that Russia’s political and military leadership authorized the commission of crimes by the “Wagner PMC” on the territory of Ukraine. Prosecution of the Russian leaders in the context of the “Wagner PMC” activities is possible only within the jurisdiction of the ICC.
United States of America
- The US should consider designating the “Wagner PMC” as a terrorist organization to impose significant restrictions on its financing and the profit-making of individuals affiliated with the “Wagner PMC”. This approach entails criminal liability for providing material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization. A terrorist organization, unlike a transnational criminal organization, pursues political objectives and employs terrorism not as a means of reaching its financial goals, primarily enrichment, but as a way of executing its political objectives. This is the reason why the “Wagner PMC” meets the definition of a terrorist organization.
- The US security forces, in cooperation with European colleagues, should engage in information campaigns to foster transparency and raise awareness about Evgeniy Prigozhin and his activities to invigorate tensions and incite enmity between him and various centers of power within the Kremlin.
- The Ministries of Internal Affairs of EU member states should guarantee safety to the former “Wagner PMC” fighters in the case some of them decide to seek asylum and testify against their previous “employer”. This would facilitate gathering comprehensive evidence and fight the “Wagner PMC” more effectively.
- Expert round-table discussions with members of the European Parliament should be conducted in order to explain that the “Wagner PMC” is not a private-owned company but a state-backed terrorist organization, which is a threat not only in unstable, war-torn regions but also in peaceful and safe European states. The Kremlin may use the “Wagner PMC” as a hybrid instrument to recruit citizens of European states, illegally transport migrants to Europe, and even kill certain Western officials.
- Panel discussions with the participation of members of the European Parliament and representatives of the EU member states should focus on exploring the electoral, informational, and infrastructural capabilities of the “Wagner PMC” and its political prospects.
- A draft of a resolution aimed at designating the “Wagner PMC” as a terrorist organization should be adopted in the European Parliament, possibly after Ukraine’s proposal to do so.
Individual partner states
- Security forces of France and the US should cooperate in the context of the exchange of experience and information regarding the activities of the “Wagner PMC”. Such a step would allow to develop more efficient countermeasures against the destructive influences of the “Wagner PMC” in Africa and the Middle East.