Explainer: Who is Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin?

Explainer: Who is Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin?

On Saturday, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group, announced that he had taken over Rostov-on-Don in an effort to remove the military leadership. The authorities have labeled this as an armed rebellion. Here are some facts about Prigozhin:

– Prigozhin is a well-known figure in the war, having recruited Russian prisoners to fight for Wagner and openly feuded with the defense ministry over military plans and ammunition supplies. He is also known for his aggressive PR, foul language, and frequent presence near the front lines.
– Prigozhin, who is 62 years old, has been referred to as “Putin’s chef” due to his company’s Kremlin catering contracts. Although it is unclear how close he and Russian President Vladimir Putin are, they both hail from St. Petersburg and know each other.
– After serving a long prison sentence in the 1980s, Prigozhin started out selling hotdogs in his hometown. He eventually built up a stake in a chain of supermarkets and opened his own restaurant and catering company, which gained a reputation for its fine food and hosted city dignitaries, including then-deputy mayor Vladimir Putin.
– Prigozhin’s catering firm, Concord, began to win government supply contracts, expanding its operations significantly. Last September, Prigozhin admitted to founding the Wagner Group in 2014, the year Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. The group has fought in several countries, including Libya, Syria, the Central African Republic, and Mali.
– The Wagner Group also provided support to Russia-backed separatists who seized a portion of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region in 2014. Last month, the group seized the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut after some of the war’s most brutal fighting. During the onslaught, Prigozhin insulted Moscow’s top brass, breaking the taboos of Putin’s tightly controlled political system.
– The United States and European Union have imposed sanctions on Prigozhin for his role in Wagner. He is also accused of funding a troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency, which Washington says attempted to influence U.S. elections.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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