Criminal complaint reportedly filed over Russian PMC Wagner recruiting activities in Serbia

Only days after Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called out Russia and and the Russian mercenary organization Wagner Group to stop attempting to illegally recruit Serbs to fight in the War in Ukraine, press reports noted that a criminal complaint has been filed against both Russian PMC Wagner and both Russian and Serbian officials.

As per Babel.ua, which cited a Reuters, which in turn reportedly cited Serbian lawyer Cedomir Stojkovic, a criminal complaint was filed against both Russian and Serbian officials.

The complaint allegedly hit Russian Ambassador to Serbia Oleksander B., as well Serbian officials, whom Stojkovic reportedly claimed had decided ot to interfere with PMC Wagner in Serbia.

The mercenary group, known for committing atrocities in Ukraine and Africa—and which is also now understood to be leading the Russian fight in Bakhmut and Soledar in Ukraine—has also helped garner controversial headlines against Serbia. The US has called for Serbia to put a stop to Wagner recruiting efforts, and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti even went so far as to insinuate that Wagner mercenaries had manned barricades during recent ethnic-Serb protests against the government in Kosovo.

There has been no evidence pointing to the last, but press reports noted a December 2022 opening of a “cultural center” by Wagner in Belgrade—reportedly to aid in recruiting, although no sign of the cultural center has been recently seen on the ground. That said, a PMC Wagner company was noted to have been registered in Serbia, although it is unclear as to whether this registered company was subject of the aforementioned criminal complaint.

Photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin at the time when he was known primarily Putin’s Chef. Photo by the government of the Russian Federation, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

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