Open Letter to Amazon: PMC Wagner Group merchandise for sale on Amazon

Dear Amazon Corporate-

Thank you for taking the time to read this email. I apologize if the email addresses above aren’t the appropriate avenue to contact you all in regards to the issue I am about to discuss. I would ask that if this message reaches the incorrect inbox, that this message be forwarded to the correct department.

My name is Robby Delaware. I am a former Seattle resident, and I am a longtime Amazon customer. Corporate executives at Amazon in Seattle might remember that █ ███ █ ████████ ██████ ██ ████████████ ███████ █████ ██ ████ ███ █████ ██ █████ █ ███ ██ █████████ ███████████ ████████████ ████ █████ ██████ ████████ ████ ██████ █ █ ███ ████ ████ █████ ██ █████ █████ ██████ █████████ ██████ ████████ ███ █████ ███████I doubt these people like me very much, but they certainly remember who I was and can attest to my identity.

There is an issue with content being offered by third party sellers on Amazon that requires urgent attention. I believe that for moral, legal, and ethical reasons, Amazon should remove this content from the website. Amazon should also set out a clear policy regarding merchandise related to this organization.

I’ll be very brief.

Amazon is currently listing at least three items related to an organization called the PMC Wagner Group. One of these three items is currently available for sale, while the other two are listed as being “currently unavailable” on the website.

As part of my research into the marketing of Putin’s fascism, I have spent quite a lot of time looking into how e-commerce and social media companies have reacted to Kremlin propaganda related to the invasion of Ukraine and to how they approach material related to the Wagner Group. If you are unaware of PMC Wagner Group, I encourage you to research it. The Wagner Group was started by a fascist named Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is under indictment stemming from the Mueller investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election.

This Wagner Group is a paramilitary organization that operates as an arm of the Kremlin’s imperialistic ambitions. The Wagner Group fought on the side of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and is now involved in the invasion of Ukraine. Recently news articles have document allegations of rape against Wagner Group mercenaries in the African nation of Mali.

As you can imagine, I was shocked to see that PMC Wagner Group merchandise is being displayed on Amazon’s website, and in one instance, offered for sale. The logo of this group does not belong on Amazon, and Amazon should not facilitate sales of merchandise which glorifies the group.

After the invasion, Amazon was quick to remove “Z” branded merchandise. I would like to personally thank you for that. The Kremlin’s “Z” branding of the invasion is as disgusting as the swastika and was created by marketing firms and advertising agencies. The “Z” and “V” symbols have no place on Amazon.

I would also argue that merchandise in support of the Wagner Group does not belong on Amazon either. Thankfully, there only appears to be 3 items. Respectfully, I ask that you examine the merchandise listed below, to see if they violate Amazon’s regulations regarding hate speech or violent extremism.

The first of these items is a t-shirt being sold by “W.agner funny G.roup T-Shirt” and featuring the logo of the Wagner Group. This item appears to be currently available for purchase:

A t-shirt for sale on Amazon with the PMC Wagner Group logo on the front.
Available for sale. A PMC Wagner Group t-shirt.

The second of these items is a t-shirt, being sold by an “unknown” brand. This t-shirt also features the logo of the Wagner Group. This item is listed as “currently unavailable” on the website:

Another PMC Wagner Group t-shirt.

The last of these items is a “generic” patch of the Wagner Group logo being sold on Amazon.de. This item is also currently listed as “unavailable” on the website:

A PMC Wagner Group patch for sale on Amazon.de.

I would ask that Amazon’s legal department consider the ramifications of Amazon hosting the merchandise of paramilitary organization engaged in rape, extrajudicial killings and connected to the dark forces involved in Putin’s fascist invasion of Ukraine.

Problematic URLs:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09Y9472JD/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_2XKTKBQ3BDN96NQYHJSZ

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09W8L1175/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_XVG4HA9DDTVN5Z4VNRWR?customId=B0752XJYNL&th=1

https://www.amazon.de/-/en/Generic-Russian-Military-Tactical-Embroidered/dp/B08LRJ2G69

Issue:

Merchandise related to the PMC Wagner Group is being hosted on Amazon. The PMC Wagner Group is an organization run by Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is currently under indictment for his role in meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election. The PMC Wagner Group is a paramilitary group whose members have been accused on war crimes in Syria and rape in the African country of Mali. It is not appropriate to have ANY PMC Wagner Group merchandise listed on the Amazon website, and I am asking to have these items removed, and to have a future policy of removal of any PMC Wagner Group merchandise from third party sellers.

Thank you for looking into this issue. I would welcome any feedback, and if necessary, I can direct any questions you might have to any number of people or organizations that have a great deal of familiarity with the PMC Wagner Group organization.

-Robby Delaware

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store