Last modified on March 12, 2024, at 02:31

Evgeny Prigozhin

Yevgeny Prigozhin (center, no mask) and his soldiers at the Soledar Salt Mine Museum, January 10, 2024.

Evgeny Prigozhin or Yevgeny Prigozhin (b. June 1, 1961 - d. August 23, 2023) was the executive manager of the Wagner Group PMC. Prigozhin has no formal military training or record of service, is not a military or battlefield commander, and functioned mainly as the human resource recruiter, personnel manager, and public relations spokesperson serving in the CEO position. He is commonly referred to in Western media as "Putin's chef."[1]

In November 2022, after the European Union declared the Wagner group a terrorist organization, Prigozhin declared the European Parliament dissolved and sent a violin case containing a sledgehammer covered in fake blood, people familiar with the matter said. "Before this procedure enters into legal force, I have been instructed to submit an information case to the European Parliament,” Prigozhin said.[2]

He was awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation in 2022.[3][4][5]

Western media and propaganda source, particularly in United Kingdom, often speculated that Prigozhin was a possible successor to Vladimir Putin as president of the Russian Federation.[6]

On March 11, 2023, Prigozhin announced he'd be running for president of Ukraine in 2024.[7]

On March 18, 2023 Western intelligence agencies revealed a thousand documents on Prigozhin's activities.[8] Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter observed, "Prigozhin’s antics caught the attention of Ukrainian intelligence, and their British and US counterparts. The narcissistic need for attention, coupled with grandiose notions of self-importance, made Prigozhin an ideal candidate for recruitment by a hostile foreign intelligence service."[9] He is largely regarded as the West's most destabilizing "useful idiot".[10]


See also: Obama war crimes#August 2012

The life of Evgeny Prigozhin reads like a typical American rags-to-riches story. Prigozhin spent 9 years in the Soviet penal system in the 1980s. Upon collapse of the Soviet Union Prigozhin was released. In the aftermath of the collapse and transition to capitalism, and loss of government subsidies to enterprises led to massive unemployment in the former Soviet Republics. Ever the entrepreneur, Prigozhin took to the streets of St. Petersburg, formerly the city of Leningrad, as a hot dog vendor. His success led him to begin a catering service and open restaurants, some of them becoming upscale. Vladimir Putin, a native of St. Petersburg and working the mayor's office at that time, frequented one of his restaurants which became Putin's favorite. The two became acquainted.

Under the new capitalist system the contract to provide food for the Russian Army was privatized. When Putin became president of the Russian Federation the contract was offered to Prigozhin. The contract made Prigozhin a billionaire. However, over the years there were many complaints about the quality of the food that led to lawsuits. As a defense contractor, Prigozhin met up with Dmitri Utkin at this time, who used the nom de guerre "Wagner". Prigozhin and Utkin created the Wagner group, based on the U.S. model of using outside contractors and Blackwater. The Wagner group become a Russian Ministry of defense private contractor.

With President Barack Obama's withdrawal of American troops from Iraq in 2011, the Obama administration began funding outside contractors to carry out regime change against Bashir al Assad in Syria. Among the various al Qaeda groups the Obama administration hired into its service, several were consolidated into what became the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The Syrian regime of Bashir Assad requested assistance from the Russian Federation to defend itself against terrorism; the Russian Ministry of Defense dispatched its outside contractor, the Wagner group to defend the Syrian government against the American sub-contractor, the Islamic State.

Wagner mutiny

The Washington Post claimed to have obtained previously unreported documents from the Pentagon leaks alleging that Prigozhin was secretly in cahoots with Kiev. The Post claimed Prigozhin met Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR) officers in January 2023 in Africa. Prigozhin was said to have offered to give information on regular Russian army troop positions if the Kyiv regime would pull back forces from the area around Bakhmut. It was published the day after WaPo asked Zelensky about it on May 14, 2023.[11] Zelensky reacted angrily to their summary of the so-called 'Discord Leaks' contents. Zelensky then asked WaPo who passed the information along, and accused whoever it may have been of committing treason.[12]

On June 20, 2023 the Pentagon alleged that a $6.2 accounting "error" allowed for the transfer of more wealth from the United States to Ukraine.[13] Congress had been briefed beforehand.[14]

The Wagner group's contract with the Russian Ministry of Defense expired on May 21, 2023, and the group was to be disbanded on June 23. The day prior on June 22, Rybar reported,

Prigozhin serving dinner for Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, and President Putin.
"FSO and FSB together with the Interior Ministry are conducting an operation to search for Ukrainian sleeper cells and sabotage and reconnaissance groups (Once Again: not the Wagners, but Ukrainian GUR [military intelligence] groups). According to our information, in the course of operational activities the FSB officers managed to find two agents of the Ukrainian GUR, who surrendered the entire chain of underground cells in the capital and the #Moscow region. They are now looking for a couple of dozen people who form the basis of the clandestine GUR network.

The fact that terrorist attacks were being prepared and attacks on government facilities was confirmed by facts of undercover reconnaissance: employees of diplomatic missions in diplomatic vans drove around #Moscow, recorded security guards and the order of duty and then passed this information to the GUR. A complex operation was being prepared."[15]

Hours before the mutiny commenced on the morning of June 23, 2023, Newsweek published a story entitled, Putin is Underestimating Prigozhin's Rise in Popularity.[16] That same morning Prigozhin and some 6,000 of his forces left the Special De-Nazification Operation zone of conflict and took control over Rostov-on-Don, a city with a population of over 1 million in the Southern Federal District of Russia, and is the headquarters of the Southern Military District, which has overall command of the special military operation in Ukraine. Prigozhin sent Dmitry Utkin to lead a column of forces north toward Moscow on what he called a "March for Justice" against the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Globalist billionaire oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky living in London, who is wanted in Russia for the contract killing of Nefteyugansk mayor Vladimir Petukhov,[17][18] issued a tweet urging citizens to give the mutineers gasoline and for their opponents not to fight against the mutiny.[19]

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said foreign intelligence agencies played a role in the Wagner PMC's action.[20]


Progozhin in various disguises

In a rather long and erratic interview, Prigozhin made the shocking claim that Russia’s pretext for the war in Ukraine was an outright lie and that the war had been fraught with corruption and the murder of civilians. Things then got even crazier when Wagner claimed that the Russian army had struck their camp with a missile. The video which was released purporting to show the aftermath of this “missile strike” did not show an impact crater, debris, or any wounded or killed Wagner personnel. The “damage” from the missile consisted of two campfires burning in a trench.

The video obviously did not show the aftermath of a missile attack, but Prigozhin’s rhetoric escalated after this and he soon announced that Wagner would begin a “march for justice” to gain redress for his various grievances. It seemed to center on personal grudges against Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov.

Shortly thereafter, a few videos came from the Russian authorities, including one featuring General Surovikin holding a pistol, apparently pleading with Wagner to “stop the movement of their columns” and return to their posts.

The Ukrainian propaganda machine kicked into overdrive, with characters like Anton Gerashchenko and Igor Sushko absolutely bombarding social media with fake stories about Russian army units mutinying and regional governors “defecting” to Prigozhin.

Best in Hell

Prigozhin and Wagner group commander Alexei Nagin produced the feature film, The Best in Hell, shot on the front lines of the Special Military Operation depicting the work of a combatant during hostilities. Artists often worked under fire from enemy artillery. Ther motion picture has no analogues in the history of cinema. The film conveys the atmosphere of hostilities, teaches the skills of modern combat, and explains with whom Russian soldiers are really fighting in Ukraine. The events are shown simultaneously from two sides, and without the slightest attempts to belittle or dehumanize the enemy.[21]

Mourners lay flowers to commemorate the passing of Evgeny Prigozhin.


Vladimir Putin acknowledged in late June 2023 that the Kremlin had paid Prigozhin’s army nearly $1 billion dollars between May of 2022 and May of 2023. Prigozhin and his reduced Wagner force were left in limbo after the aborted mutiny, and many Wagner members were absorbed into the Russian military. Putin arranged for Prigozhin and what was left of his mercenary force to be driven into exile in Belarus. By early August 2023 there were reports of border tensions as the remnant of the Wagner Group made a series of intrusions into the airspace of Poland, and troublesome threats at the borders of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland. For Putin, triggering complaints from NATO countries was an unforgivable breach.[22]

Prigozhin, Wagner group co-founder Dmitri Utkin and logistics chief Valery Chekalov along with two bodyguards. two pilots and a flight attendant, were killed in a plane crash in the Tver region on August 23, 2023[23] Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev assumed control of the remaining Wagner group forces in Belarus.

Prigozhin was reported dead in a plane crash in the Congo in 2019, only to reappear 3 days later.

See also


  1. According to Ukrainian media, Prigozhin would cook human brains for President Putin's consumption.
  2. Wagner's Prigozhin gives bloody sledgehammer to EU for terror designation, By JERUSALEM POST STAFF Published: NOVEMBER 24, 2022.
  3. Илья Фурсеев (25 June 2022). Песков ответил на информацию о присвоении "Героя России" Пригожину.
  4. Лилия Яппарова, Андрей Перцев, Алексей Славин. "Грубо говоря, мы начали войну. Как отправка ЧВК Вагнера на фронт помогла Пригожину наладить отношения с Путиным — и что такое "собянинский полк"", 13 July 2022. 
  5. Анна Павлова, Елизавета Нестерова (6 August 2022). "В первую очередь интересуют убийцы и разбойники — вам у нас понравится". Похоже, Евгений Пригожин лично вербует наемников в колониях.
  6. Yevgeny Prigozhin’s rise in Russia undermines hope that Putin’s successor will be any better, OPINION By Ian Birrell, November 7, 2022.
  8. Prigozhin's Cyber Troops, How the IT infrastructure of Wagner, Troll Factory and Concord works. March 18, 2023.
  9. Prigozhin’s War, July 7, 2023, Joe Lauria. Consortiumnews.
  10. Prigozhin Was The West’s “Useful Idiot”, ANDREW KORYBKO, JUN 27, 2023.
  11. Wagner chief offered to give Russian troop locations to Ukraine, leak says, By Shane Harris and Isabelle Khurshudyan, The Washington Post, May 14, 2023.
  17. "Russian court orders arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky over contract killing", Reuters, 23 December 2015. 
  18. "Russia reopens 1998 murder probe; Putin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky is a suspect", 30 June 2015. 
  19. Russia live updates: Putin accuses Wagner chief of 'mutiny' and vows mercenaries will face justice (en) (2023-06-24).

External links