Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group, died this Wednesday when the plane he was traveling in crashed. The accident occurred on Russian soil and members of the group of mercenaries he led point out that it was the Russian air defenses that would have shot down the device. Known as Putin’s chef, he was born the same as President Vladimir Putin in Leningrad, as Saint Petersburg was known during the Soviet Union. A low-profile businessman who benefited from having President Putin as a major patron, he rose to the international spotlight when he wrestled with the Russian leader by threatening to storm Moscow with his mercenary troops.
Leader of the Wagner Group mercenaries, Yevgeny Prigozhin has intensified his criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in recent months, calling for an armed uprising to oust the defense minister in what has become a rebellion in Russia. A few words that had an immediate response from the Russian security services, alerting the international community.
Only the intervention of Belarus stopped the rebellion of the group of mercenaries led by Putin’s chef, who sought a negotiated exit and exile. Russia decided to dissolve the Wagner group and withdraw it from the theater of operations in Ukraine.
Longtime friends of Prigozhin and Putin, when St. Petersburg was called Leningrad in the last years of the Soviet Union, Prigozhin spent 10 years in jail, though he has never known for what reason.
Subsequently, the leader of the Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin took over a hot dog stand. Later, he expanded his business into luxury restaurants that aroused Putin’s interest, taking then-French President Jacques Chirac to one of them for dinner in his first term.
Their businesses expanded considerably thanks to catering services and the provision of school lunches. In 2010, Putin helped open the Prigozhin factory. In Moscow alone, his company Concord won millions of dollars in contracts to provide meals in public schools. He also organized catering for Kremlin events for several years, earning him the nickname Putin’s chef.
Subsequently, Prigozhin took over the Wagner Group, a Kremlin-allied mercenary force that has come to play a key role in gaining Russian influence in different hot spots throughout the international community, providing private security for national leaders or warlords. , charging for their services in gold or other natural resources.
In the Ukraine, Prigozhin’s mercenaries have been a major force in the war, fighting alongside Russian soldiers in battles against Ukrainian forces, taking part in the bloodiest and longest-running battles. That was until Wagner’s now-deceased boss got fed up with the fact that the Russian Ministry of Defense did not respond to his requests for material and resources.
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