Russian oligarch and head of the Wagner private military business Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin (1 June 1961–23 August 2023). Before beginning his insurrection in June 2023, he was Vladimir Putin’s closest advisor.
Prigozhin earned the nickname “Putin’s chef” due to the fact that his restaurant and catering empire serviced the Russian president’s official residence. Prigozhin, a former Soviet prisoner, ran a conglomerate of powerful businesses that were “tightly integrated with Russia’s Defense Ministry and its intelligence arm, the GRU,” according to a 2022 investigation.
Yevgeny Prigozhin Net Worth
At the time of his death, Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin was worth $1 billion. On August 23, 2023, at the age of 62, Yevgeny Prigozhin is thought to have died when the private jet he was flying, an Embraer Legacy 600, exploded in the air and crashed shortly after taking off from a Moscow area airfield.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, sometimes known as “Putin’s Chef,” turned a hot dog stand outside of a Saint Petersburg flea market into a restaurant that was visited by the city’s deputy mayor in the 1990s. Young Vladimir Putin served as the deputy mayor. Putin was such a fan of Prigozhin’s food that he appointed his company as the city’s official caterer.
Just five years after Prigozhin founded Concord Catering, Putin was elected president of Russia, and the company became the state caterer. The government has reportedly awarded Concord billions of dollars in contracts over the years to supply anything from school lunches to meals for the military and inmates.
The catering business that Yevgeny Prigozhin founded made him a fortune. After some time, he also oversaw a business empire that included the paramilitary Wagner Group and several entities blamed for meddling in the 2016 and 2018 US presidential elections.
Prigozhin’s activities have attracted international sanctions and US criminal charges due to his ties to the Russian Ministry of Defense and the GRU.
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Yevgeny Prigozhin Early Life and Prison Time
On June 1, 1961, in what was then Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Yevgeny Prigozhin entered the world. He went to a boarding school for athletes when he was young and learned to cross-country ski there.
After leaving, Prigozhin became involved in criminal activity, including theft and fraud, and in 1981 he was given a 12-year prison sentence. In the end, he spent nine years in prison for his crime.
Yevgeny Prigozhin Internet Research Agency
Internet Research Agency, a Russian internet propaganda group, has been accused of interfering in the 2016 US presidential election and the 2018 midterm elections, and Prigozhin has allegedly played a role in financing and directing the group.
Two other companies with which Prigozhin has been associated have been linked to efforts to sow discord at political events in the United States and elsewhere.
Yevgeny Prigozhin Personal Life
Lyubov Valentinovna, a pharmacist and owner of the Chocolate Museum shop chain in St. Petersburg, was Prigozhin’s wife. She also operates the boutique hotel Crystal Spa & Residence, the day spa Crystal Spa & Lounge, and the business New Technologies SPA.
Polina is the name of Prigozhin and Valentinovna’s daughter. In St. Petersburg, the family has a mansion complete with a helipad and a basketball court. Prigozhin had a private plane and a yacht that was 115 feet long.
Yevgeny Prigozhin Death
An Embraer Legacy 600 private jet carrying Yevgeny Prigozhin reportedly exploded shortly after takeoff from an airport near Moscow on August 23, 2023, according to several sources and purported first-person video. All reported passengers were killed when the jet crashed into a field. He was 62.
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