From Putin’s Kitchen to Enmities, Hot Dog Stalls to Building an Army, Unveiling the Wagner Chief

From Putin’s Kitchen to Enmities, Hot Dog Stalls to Building an Army, Unveiling the Wagner Chief

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Russian private military company Wagner Group, was killed in a plane crash on Wednesday night. Several reports claim that a private jet crashed in the northern outskirts of Moscow on Wednesday afternoon, and Prigozhin was among the passengers. The Embraer aircraft was flying from Moscow to St. Petersburg.

About Yevgeny Prigozhin

Yevgeny Prigozhin was born in 1961 in Leningrad, now known as St. Petersburg. He was previously convicted in 1981 for hooliganism, robbery, and fraud and sentenced to 13 years in prison. However, after the fall of the Soviet Union, he was released after serving 9 years.

Rise of His Businesses

After his release, Prigozhin started a small business, including a hot dog stand, and later opened a restaurant. His restaurant gained popularity, and he even began serving foreign guests, including Russian President Putin, which brought him closer to Putin.

Involvement in the Military and Wagner Group

Prigozhin later ventured into the catering business, winning contracts to provide food to the Russian military and schools. He also established the private military company Wagner Group, which is alleged to have been involved in various conflicts around the world. The group has been accused of conducting covert military operations in countries such as Syria, Libya, Mali, and the Central African Republic.

Wagner Group and Controversies

Wagner Group, officially known as PMC Wagner, is believed to be privately owned, but it’s suspected that it operates with support from the Russian government and its intelligence agencies. The group consists of retired military personnel and mercenaries who are allegedly involved in targeted killings and other operations. The group’s influence grew, and there were speculations of Prigozhin being positioned as Putin’s successor.

Wagner Group’s Activities

Wagner Group has been accused of recruiting and deploying mercenaries to various conflict zones, including Eastern Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Mozambique, Mali, Sudan, and the Central African Republic. The group has faced allegations of human rights abuses and involvement in violent actions against civilians.

Wagner Group’s Power and Controversies

Reports from 2017 suggested that Wagner Group had deployed up to 6,000 mercenaries to support Russian interests. The group operates as a private army but is believed to have close ties to the Russian military and intelligence agencies. Numerous allegations have been made against Wagner Group, including violations of human rights, involvement in atrocities, and engaging in resource exploitation in conflict zones.

EU Sanctions and International Scrutiny

In December 2021, the European Union imposed sanctions on eight individuals associated with Wagner Group. The group’s activities have attracted significant international attention and condemnation due to its alleged involvement in conflicts and human rights abuses in various regions.

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