The UK has officially proscribed the Russian mercenary Wagner Group as a terrorist organization, after order was laid in parliament and backed on September 6 by lawmakers, which will make it illegal to be a member or to support it.
"This order comes into force with immediate effect and will make belonging to the Wagner Group or actively supporting the group in the UK a criminal offence, with a potential jail sentence of 14 years which can be handed down alongside or in place of a fine," the UK government said Friday in a press release.
The release added that the Wagner group has now been added to the list of proscribed organisations in the UK, alongside 78 organisations.
Notably, Wagner Chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was confirmed dead by Russian investigators on August 27. He was among the 10 people killed when their plane crashed on August 23.
The crash came exactly two months after Prigozhin - who was once called President Vladimir Putin's "personal chef" - led an armed insurrection against the Russian leader.
Prigozhin, whose fighters secured "rare victories" for the Kremlin on the battlefield, had railed against the country's military brass over their handling of the Ukraine war, according to CNN.
Prigozhin was a former close aide of Russian President Vladimir Putin until he initiated a rebellion in June 2023. Prigozhin controlled a network of companies including the Wagner private military group.
On June 23, 2023, the Wagner Group led by him launched a mutiny against the Russian military leadership. Negotiations led to the rebellion being called off. The pact that put an end to the uprising in Russia 2 months back was mediated by Putin's close ally, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.