Businessman linked with Putin, chief of illegal operations for russian secret services.
In a past he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for robbery, fraud and organizing child prostitution. Prigozhin served nine years and was freed in 1990, just as the Soviet Union was collapsing.
This is his projects:
1. Psy ops center (troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency) – spreading fake news on social networks and manipulation of mass opinion
2. Private military company Wagner – used in illegal military operations to not be linked with russian official military forces. Used widely in Ukraine, Syria, some operations in Africa now.
Dmitry Utkin aka Wagner, head of Prigozhin’s private military company.
Interesting fact is that by russian laws, private military companies are illegal in Russia. But they exist under protection of secret services. For example in Syria contractors of Wagner PMC were used in massacre operations, where risk was too high. If soldier of regular russian army dies on duty, government must pay huge compensation to his family. But if private military contractor is dead, there is no compensation to his family (or it very small) and this cases are not counted by official statistics.
3. Terror against russian opposition journalists
Russia’s independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper has quoted a purported security aide of Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin as saying that Prigozhin was involved in several attacks against his opponents, including at least one killing.
Novaya Gazeta reporter Denis Korotkov’s article on Prigozhin was published on October 22, less than a week after a funeral wreath was anonymously sent to the journalist’s home with a note calling him “a traitor to his country.”
Unknown persons last week also left a basket containing a severed ram’s head and red carnations at the newspaper’s office with a note, saying “To Novaya Gazeta’s chief editor with greetings to you and Korotkov.”
Novaya Gazeta — which has had five of its reporters killed since 2000 for their work — says Russian authorities are conducting a smear campaign against Korotkov in response to allegations he has endangered the lives of Russian soldiers’ families by publishing personal information about Russian military pilots in Syria.
Korotkov’s October 22 article about Prigozhin is based on a series of interviews he conducted with Valery Amelchenko, a former convict who claimed he worked as a security aide for Prigozhin.
Korotkov quoted Amelchenko as admitting that he personally orchestrated attacks on several of Prigozhin’s rivals, including the killing of an opposition blogger in northwest Russia, on Prigozhin’s behalf.
Amelchenko also was quoted as saying several people who work for Prigozhin had traveled to Syria in 2017 to test an unknown poison on Syrians who refused to fight for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. Novaya Gazeta corroborated the account with two other sources.
Amelchenko disappeared on October 2 shortly after meeting Korotkov and telling the journalist that he was being followed.
Korotkov said he received a call from Amelchenko’s phone later that day and when he went to the man’s house, he found two mobile phones and what looked like his shoe lying on the ground.
Amelchenko is now on a Russian police list of missing persons.
Another member of Prigozhin’s security detail, Oleg Simonov, is suspected of attacking the husband of a lawyer of opposition politician Aleksei Navalny’s Anticorruption Foundation and injecting him with poison.
Simonov died in 2017 under murky circumstances.
TO BE UPDATED