Britain imposed sanctions on 13 individuals and businesses in the Central African Republic (CAR), Mali, and Sudan for their connections to Russia’s Wagner Group on Thursday. Among the sanctioned entities was one described as the “right hand man” of the group’s founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
The British government added Wagner officials to its sanctions list, alleging them of responsibility for executions and torture in Mali and the CAR, and for posing threats to peace and security in Sudan.
The imposition of sanctions comes in the aftermath of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s unsuccessful mutiny in Russia, raising uncertainties about the future of Wagner’s military and commercial activities in various countries, including the CAR.
The British government stated that Konstantin Pikalyov, who has been recently sanctioned with asset freezes and a travel ban in the UK, holds a significant advisory role to Prigozhin and serves as the operational head of Wagner in CAR.
“Wherever Wagner operates, it has a catastrophic effect on communities, worsens existing conflicts and damages the reputations of countries that host them,” Britain’s minister for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell said.
Vitaly Perfilov in CAR, Alexander Maloletko – described as a close associate of Prigozhin, and Ivan Maslov, the head of the Wagner Group in Mali, were also included among those facing sanctions by the British government.
In Sudan, the British government added Mikhail Potepkin to the list of sanctioned individuals. He is identified as having affiliations with the Wagner Group and serving as a director of the mining company Meroe Gold.
The British government sanctioned Meroe Gold and two other businesses in Sudan, accusing them of acting as fronts for the Wagner Group and posing threats to peace and security.