Jewgeni Wiktorowitsch Prigoschin was a prominent Russian tycoon who played a key role in the mysterious world of private military firms. He was born in Leningrad on June 1, 1961.
His father died when he was just a year old, and his mother worked in a hospital. Following a turbulent upbringing, Prigoschin enrolled in a sports academy and went on to commit crimes.
He was given a suspended sentence for theft in 1979, but two years later, in 1981, he was found guilty of several offenses, including robbery, house invasion, and the prostitution of minors. Prigoschin was sentenced to 13 years in jail for this second conviction; he spent nine of those years in a camp for prisoners in Russia before being released in 1990.
After being released from prison, Prigoschin underwent an unexpected shift. He went from selling hot dogs to rising to prominence in Saint Petersburg’s restaurant business. His rise in this industry was noteworthy because he founded some of the best restaurants in the city.
A dinner party in 2001 where Prigoschin entertained French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the most important events in his life. President Putin is reported to have first taken an interest in Prigoschin during this meeting, which sparked the start of their continued friendship.
Prigoschin developed his interests into an advanced system of businesses and properties as his career in the restaurant industry flourished. These organizations gained notoriety for regularly moving shares between Prigoschin and his relatives.
A Saint Petersburg-registered firm called Accent was essential in overseeing and arranging the activities of Prigoschin ‘s numerous ventures, which included real estate holdings, the enterprises M Invest and M Finans, and his mother Violetta’s art gallery.
Conflict with the Russian Ministry of Defense
Prigoschin was in direct opposition to the Russian Ministry of Defense due to his leadership of the Wagner Group. Prigoschin ‘s demand for a revolution against the Russian government in 2023 marked a critical turning point and brought attention to the internal conflicts among the various Russian power centers.
On August 23, 2023, Jewgeni Wiktorowitsch Prigoschin passed away. A business aircraft associated with the Wagner Group crashed under unclear circumstances while on route from Moscow to St. Petersburg, carrying ten individuals. Among the victims on board, Prigoschin ‘s name was reportedly included in the passenger list.
Russian government officials confirmed his identity through a DNA comparison. Dmitri Utkin, one of Prigoschin’s confidants and a prominent figure within the Wagner Group, was also among the crash victims.