Who Is Yevgeny Prigozhin? The Mercenary Boss Backstabbing Vladimir Putin in Russia

One time friend of Putinmercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin has completely turned his back on his Kremlin boss, gain control of the southern military headquarters of Russia Rostov-on-Don with the threat of 25,000 rebels ready to rebel.

His challenge is a bold one and the biggest threat to Putin’s power during his 23-year reign. in one shocking address for the nationThe president acknowledged the regime was fighting an “armed mutiny” and “the hardest battle for its future.”

Prigozhin’s troops were marching towards Moscow when he abruptly changed course and ordered them to turn back on Saturday after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko reached an agreement with him to “relieve tensions”, according to a report. statement from the Belarusian government.

It is unclear whether Prigozhin will keep Wagner’s presence in Rostov-on-Don, or what Putin might concede in the deal to make Prigozhin turn 180 degrees.

But who is Prigozhin?

Best known today as the head of the Wagner Group, a brutal Russian paramilitary organization that preceded the invasion of Ukraine, Prigozhin was a vulgar businessman dubbed “the chef of the Ukraine”. Putin” for his lucrative food supply contracts with the Kremlin.

Despite his former loyalty to Putin, Prigozhin has feud with the Russian Ministry of Defensewho was first accused by him of lying about Moscow’s motives in the war against Ukraine and now claims to retaliate with a missile attack that allegedly killed a “large number” of Russian mercenaries. he.

But before all that, Wagner’s boss was a convicted young man and businessman turned hot dog who was later indicted in the United States for meddling in the 2016 election. 2016.

He was born in 1961 in the city of St.Petersburg, Putin’s hometown, named Leningrad under the Soviet Union. As a teenager and young man, Prigozhin was arrested in a chain of robberies, frauds and other crimesserved a 9-year prison sentence, according to The New York Times.

Prigozhin later opened a hot dog stand, a relatively small stepping stone towards a much larger career in the hospitality industry by starting a restaurant and business — all before catching Putin’s eye. and reached his highest rank. Now, the tycoon is said to have a net worth of around $1 billion.

His name was included in the United States when he formed part of the prosecution of 13 Russian citizens and three companies charged interfere in the 2016 election and communicate with Donald Trump’s campaign. Prigozhin founded and funded the so-called “Troll Factory”, the center of waging “information warfare” in the US with tons of propaganda and bogus “news”. Two of his other firms—Concord Management as well as Consulting and Concord Catering—also appear in the indictment.

In December 2016, The Ministry of Finance blacklisted Prigozhinonly one of his numerous subsequent sanctions in the US. He’s also on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, with a reward of up to $250,000 for information leading to an arrest.

What is Wagner Corporation?

Prigozhin’s army of private mercenaries was first identified in 2014. BBC reported, when Russian forces invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. Wagner started out as a small and secret operation, with only about 5,000 fighters taking root in parts of Africa and the Middle East.

The group’s name is said to derive from the nom de guerre of its first leader, Dmitry Utkin, a retired Russian military officer of Ukrainian origin and a Nazi fanatic. It is believed that Utkin’s call sign was meant to commemorate the composer of the same name, one of Adolf Hitler’s favorites.

Since then, Wagner has seen incredible growth, now commanding tens of thousands of troops — most of which were taken from Russian prisoners — to support Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine. Prigozhin has been at the center of the Kremlin’s efforts to capture the city of Bakhmut, which he claimed control of in May – despite Volodymyr Zelensky denies occupation.

However, Zelensky admitted at the time that Bakhmut was “only in our hearts,” referring to the mass destruction of the city by Russian forces. The city is an important battlefield like Ukraine strengthens counterattack and try to”Deal maximum damage to enemies” in the face of the Russian “victory” of Bakhmut.


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