North Korean infantry rockets and missiles delivered in Russia

Russia Ukraine War
Ukrainian soldiers prepare barricades in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Libkos) Libkos/AP

North Korean infantry rockets and missiles delivered in Russia

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Russian private military contractor Wagner Group received infantry rockets and missiles from North Korea, which were delivered in Russia last month, the White House said.

The Biden administration is concerned that North Korea is planning to deliver more military equipment to Russia as President Vladimir Putin increasingly relies on outside forces to wage war in Ukraine.

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“Just like the Russian government, Wagner has been forced to rely on pariah states to enable its campaign” in Ukraine, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Thursday.

He said Wagner mercenaries were “committing atrocities and human rights abuses across Ukraine” alongside Russian forces, including on the front lines in Bakhmut. The United States estimates that Wagner has deployed about 50,000 soldiers to Ukraine, including 10,000 contractors and 40,000 convicts.

Putin “has been relying on Wagner to lead combat operations in parts of the Donbas, and in certain instances, Russian military officials are actually subordinate to Wagner’s command,” Kirby said.

Led by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, Kirby said the group was “emerging as a rival power center to the Russian military and other Russian ministries.”

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Prigozhin has been traveling to Russian prisons to recruit convicts, including some with medical conditions. “He’s literally throwing bodies into the meat grinder,” Kirby said.

The Biden administration is expanding sanctions and export controls on Wagner to crack down on its use of U.S. materials.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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