The Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary outfit fighting in Ukraine, is now subject to stricter penalties from the U.S., which has been criticizing it as a transnational criminal organization that routinely violates international law.

In the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine, where Western and Ukrainian officials claim the insurgency is using prisoners as cannon fodder, Wagner was killed during a battle to take the towns of Bakhmut and Soledar.

"Wagner personnel have engaged in an ongoing pattern of serious criminal activity, including mass executions, rape, child abductions, and physical abuse in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Mali," the Treasury said.

The Wagner Group has been identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a "significant transnational criminal organization" part of a campaign that is targeting dozens of individuals and organizations in an effort to hinder Russia's capacity to wage the war. Wagner has already been targeted under its sanctions against Russia and Ukraine.

An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by the Russian embassy in Washington. Along with designating Terra Tech, Washington also targeted Russia's defense industrial complex and other organizations it suspected of aiding the Wagner Group's military operations. Terra Tech is a technological company with its headquarters in Russia.

Treasury identified Changsha Tianyi Space Science and Technology Research Institute Co LTD, also known as Spacety China, in China and accused it of giving Terra Tech and Wagner radar satellite imagery of areas in Ukraine.

According to a source who spoke with Reuters this week, the United States has discovered that some Chinese firms are giving Russia non-lethal support for use in Ukraine.

John Kirby, the spokesman for national security at the White House, claimed this week that tensions in Moscow had increased as a result of Putin's increasing reliance on Wagner for military assistance.

He claimed that according to American estimates, Wagner has roughly 50,000 personnel in Ukraine, including 40,000 prisoners recruited from Russian jails.

At least 39 inmates who died for Wagner in Ukraine were identified through a review of recent burials in Southern Russia and Russian court records. In accordance with the news agency's report on Thursday, they comprised professional criminals, murderers, and a contract killer.

The U.S.'s move on Thursday is the most recent in a series of penalties against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which has left thousands dead or injured and left entire cities in ruins. Separately, on Thursday, the US State Department blacklisted organizations and people with connections to Wagner and its proprietor Yevgeny Prigozhin.