The Wagner Group boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has died in a plane crash in Russia, with nine other people on board also dead.
Who is Prigozhin?
It was long reported that Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, sometimes called “Putin’s chef”, because of his catering businesses that hosted dinners which Vladimir Putin attended with foreign dignitaries — had links with Wagner and Utkin personally.
According to Wikipedia, the businessman was said to be the main funder and actual owner of the Wagner Group. Prigozhin denied any link with Wagner, until September 2022, when he admitted having founded the group in a post at VKontakte.
Prigozhin claimed, “I cleaned the old weapons myself, sorted out the bulletproof vests myself and found specialists who could help me with this. From that moment, on May 1, 2014, a group of patriots was born, which later came to be called the Wagner Battalion.”
Previously, Prigozhin had sued Bellingcat, Meduza, and Echo of Moscow for reporting his links to the mercenary group. “Officially” the group does not exist.