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Shaheen Joins Bipartisan Calls to Condemn Russian Bad Actor Yevgeny Prigozhin & Mercenary Wagner Group

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a resolution with Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) to condemn the activities of Russian national Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Wagner Group, a Russian private military contractor. The resolution calls for broad cooperation between Congress and the Biden administration to formulate a strategy to counter the malign activities of these Russian proxies.

Prigozhin, the Wagner Group, and several other entities closely linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government continue to pose a threat to the national interests and security of the United States. Their subversive activities continue unabated in multiple countries, including the Central African Republic, Libya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Sudan and others.

“Holding Vladimir Putin and his cronies accountable for their malign activities against the U.S. and around the world is fundamental to our national security. We know Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Russian security firm Wagner Group are bad actors who, with the support of the Kremlin, destabilize democracies, exacerbate conflict settings, actively seek to undermine democratic processes and continue to pose a threat to the interests of the United States and its allies. That is why Congress and the President must act,” said Shaheen. “We must use all of the tools at our disposal – in coordination with our friends and allies – to counter this aggression.  With a new administration that will finally stand up to Putin rather than stand by him, we have important opportunities ahead to finally hold the Kremlin to account.”

“The recent sweeping hacking operation of the U.S. government is only the latest example of Vladimir Putin’s efforts to subvert international security,” said Coons. “For years Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the Wagner group, and others have meddled in foreign elections and sent mercenaries to fight in proxy wars overseas. I look forward to working with partners in Congress and the Biden administration to develop and execute a comprehensive strategy to counter these malign activities and prevent Prigozhin and Wagner from destabilizing other countries.”

“Russian national Yevgeniy Prigozhin and the Wagner Group must be held accountable for their actions in meddling in U.S. elections, the illegal annexation of Crimea, and their overall threat to our nation and global security,” said Durbin. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Biden administration to address the destabilizing activity of Prigozhin and the Wagner Group.” 

Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to hold Russia accountable for its aggression and election interference. She was the first legislator to call for hearings into their meddling in the 2016 elections. Because of her role as a negotiator on Russia sanctions legislation known as “CAATSA” and her successful efforts to ban Kaspersky Lab software from operating on U.S. systems, Shaheen was sanctioned by the Kremlin in 2017. Senator Shaheen has been warning of the Kremlin’s continued interference and she herself has been the target of a hacking attempt.