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The Financial Times reported that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Russian state-backed mercenary Wagner Group, has brought in $250 million in assets over the past four years from oil, gas, diamond, and gold mining in countries such as Sudan and Syria.
The U.S. has previously accused Russian mercenaries of exploiting natural resources in the Central African Republic, Mali, Sudan, and elsewhere to fund its military aggression against Ukraine.
Prigozhin’s Wagner Group has also been accused of human rights abuses, including torture and extrajudicial killings, in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic, Sudan, and Mozambique.
Prigozhin and his closest family members have been put under financial sanctions by a number of countries, including the U.S. and Ukraine in 2022 and the U.K. in 2020.
The Wagner Group is currently involved in Russia's offensive operations in the east of Ukraine, fighting alongside the Russian regular army.