Admitting Wagner is state-funded could help put Putin on trial for war crimes

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s admission that the Wagner mercenary group was government-funded could ease his war crimes trial, the Guardian reported on July 1.

The Russian government has already tried to distance itself from the group of mercenaries accused of committing war crimes in Ukraine, Syria and a number of African countries.

However, in an address to the military on June 27, Putin acknowledged that Wagner received the equivalent of $1 billion from the Russian state budget between May 2022 and 2023.

According to legal experts quoted by the Guardian, such an admission is significant.

“Funding is, in itself, not enough to say that someone is responsible for an international crime… [but] it makes it harder to say ‘these things have nothing to do with us,'” an expert told the Guardian.

Top EU justice official: We are not waiting for the end of the war to prosecute Russian crimes

As Russia’s war on Ukraine rages on, European Union’s top justice official says EU and partners want to bring all perpetrators of international crimes to justice. “Not only war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, but also the crime of aggression,” the European Commissioner told…

Kyiv IndependentAlexander Khrebet

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has already issued an arrest warrant for Putin on March 17, as well as Russian official Maria Lvova-Belova, for allegedly overseeing the forced deportations of Ukrainian children to Russia.

Ukraine is actively campaigning for the creation of a special tribunal to bring Russian war criminals to justice.

As of July 1, the Prosecutor General’s Office recorded 96,060 war crimes committed by Russian forces on the territory of Ukraine since the start of the full-scale invasion.

Putin’s admission that Wagner was funded by the Russian state came after Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin launched an armed ‘rebellion’ on June 23, only to come to a halt before reaching Moscow on June 24 .

After the brief uprising, the Russian media attempted to downplay the role played by the Wagner mercenary group in the fighting in Ukraine.

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Visually, the scene was familiar. Russian armored vehicles emblazoned with the Z logo on the central streets of a once peaceful city, masked soldiers standing at key intersections, and confrontational conversations with bewildered local civilians. But it was not a Ukrainian city on the first day…

Kyiv IndependentFrancois Farrell

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