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Who was Yevgeny Prigozhin and who were his wife and children?

Yevgeny Prigozhin was a Russian oligarch and mercenary leader who was formerly a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin until he launched a rebellion in June 2023.

Prigozhin was sometimes called “Putin’s chef”, as he owned restaurants and catering companies that provide services for the Kremlin.

Once a convict in the Soviet Union, Prigozhin controlled a network of influential companies, notably the Wagner private military company, which was supported by the Russian state, as well as three companies accused of interference in the 2016 and 2018 US elections.

According to a 2022 investigation by Bellingcat, The Insider, and Der Spiegel, Prigozhin’s activities “are tightly integrated with Russia’s Defence Ministry and its intelligence arm, the GRU”.

Yevgeny Prigozhin
Yevgeny Prigozhin

After years of denying links to the Wagner Group, in September 2022 he confirmed that he was its founder. He stated that he founded it in May 2014, to support Russian proxy forces in the Donbas War against Ukraine.

This admission was prompted by a viral video in 2022 in which Prigozhin was shown at a Russian prison recruiting inmates, promising them freedom if they served six months with the Wagner Group.

His Wagner Group played an important role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It also supported Russian interests in Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic and several other countries.

In November 2022, evgeny Prigozhin also admitted his role in Russian interference in US elections, saying such operations would continue.

In February 2023, he stated he was the founder and long-time manager of the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company accused of online propaganda and disinformation.

Prigozhin’s companies and associates (and formerly Prigozhin himself) face economic sanctions and criminal charges in the United States,and in the United Kingdom he remained a designated person under sanctions.

Yevgeny Prigozhin
Yevgeny Prigozhin

The FBI offered a reward of up to $250,000 for information leading to the arrest of Prigozhin. In October 2020, the European Union (EU) imposed sanctions against Prigozhin in connection with his financing of the activities of Wagner Group in Libya.

In April 2022, new sanctions were imposed on him by the EU because of his role in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Prigozhin openly criticized the Russian Defense Ministry for corruption and for mishandling the war against Ukraine.

On 23 June 2023, he used the Wagner Group to launch a rebellion against the Russian military leadership, accusing the Defense Ministry of shelling Wagner soldiers. Wagner captured the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don and headed for Moscow.

Negotiations led to the rebellion being called off the following day. Prigozhin agreed to move to Belarus and criminal charges against him for rebellion were dropped.

Wagner mutineers would not be prosecuted if they agreed to either sign contracts with the Defense Ministry or move to Belarus.

On 23 August 2023, Prigozhin was “presumed dead” in a plane crash in Tver Oblast, north of Moscow, along with nine other people. speculated the plane was shot down by Russian forces.

evgeny Prigozhin
Yevgeny Prigozhin

Who was Yevgeny Prigozhin?

Yevgeny Prigozhin was born on 1 June 1961 in Leningrad, Soviet Union (now Saint Petersburg, Russia). His mother, Violetta Kirovna Prigozhina, was a hospital nurse.

His father, Viktor Yevgenyevich Prigozhin, was a mining engineer who died when Yevgeny was nine. His grandfather, Yevgeny Ilyich Prigozhin, was a captain in the Red Army during World War II, who fought in the Battles of Rzhev and received a medal “For Courage”.

Prigozhin sponsored the 2020 war film Rzhev , based on a 1991 novel by Vyacheslav Kondratiev that mentions his grandfather. His father and stepfather were Jewish.

His great-uncle was Soviet scientist Yefim Ilyich Prigozhin. He settled with Yefim for several years during his childhood in the Ukrainian city of Zhovti Vody, where he worked in an open-pit uranium mine.

His stepfather, Samuil Fridmanovich Zharkoi, was a ski instructor and introduced Prigozhin to cross-country skiing.

Aspiring to be a professional skier, he graduated from Leningrad Sports Boarding School No. 62 However, he abandoned his sports career after an injury. He later worked as a fitness trainer at a children’s sports school.

Yevgeny Prigozhin Wife

Yevgeny Prigozhin Wife

Yevgeny Prigozhin was married to Lyubov Valentinovna Prigozhina, a pharmacist and businesswoman. She owns a network of boutique stores known as the Chocolate Museum in Saint Petersburg.

In 2012, she started the Crystal Spa & Lounge, a day spa located along Zhukovsky Street in Saint Petersburg, which won a third place award in 2013 for the Perfect Urban Day Spa.

She owns a wellness center in the Leningrad region and a boutique hotel called the Crystal Spa & Residence which won the Perfect Spa Project award in 2013.

She owns the New Technologies SPA which is located at plot 1, Granichnaya street in Lakhta Park, Sestroretsk, Kurortny District, Saint Petersburg. She is also the owner of Agat, part of the Concord group .

Yevgeny Prigozhin children

Yevgeny Prigozhin  and wife  had two daughters: Polina , born 1992 and Veronika , born 2005, and a son Pavel , born in either 1996 or 1998.

Until the invasion of Ukraine, Prigozhin’s children were able to move freely across the European Union.

On 20 February 2022, Prigozhin’s daughter Veronika took part in equestrian competitions in Spain

Hopefully, this article was able to provide you with all the necessary information about Yevgeny Prigozhin wife and children.

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Simon Kabutey
Simon Kabutey
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