Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin is a Russian businessman who is frequently referred to as Vladimir Putin’s close friend. Prigozhin, who was born on February 1st, 1961, in Leningrad, now known as St. Petersburg, Russia, has had a contentious and significant life. Although he has received recognition for his business endeavors, he is more well-known for his alleged ties to clandestine military operations and influence-peddling schemes.
Yevgeny Prigozhin’s early years were spent in the Ukrainian city of Zhovti Vody with his great-uncle, Yefim. He experienced the hardships of life at this time and worked in an open-pit uranium mine, an experience that would later mold his tenacity and drive.
In his early years, Prigozhin’s stepfather, ski instructor Samuil Fridmanovich Zharkoi, taught him how to cross-country ski. His desire to become a professional skier drove him to enroll in Leningrad Sports Boarding School No. 62 in 1977. Sadly, he had to abandon his dreams of becoming a professional athlete due to an injury, which forced him to alter his course in life.
He began his career in the foodservice sector before becoming a well-known restaurateur. He is frequently referred to as “Putin’s Chef” because he owns a number of eateries and catering companies, including the renowned restaurant chain “Concord Group.”
His business ventures have grown to encompass a number of sectors, including catering, dining, and food services. According to reports, The Concord Group has lucrative contracts with the Russian government to cater for the military, schools, and other government institutions.
Yevgeny Prigozhin is well-known due to claims that he participated in clandestine activities connected to the Russian government. It has been widely reported that Prigozhin’s businesses have ties to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian “troll farm” that has been charged with interfering in other countries’ elections and disseminating false information online. Investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election focused a lot of attention on these activities.
Additionally, Prigozhin has been accused of aiding private military firms, particularly the Wagner Group, which has been active in the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine. Concerns about these private military firms’ potential effects on international stability have been raised after they were allegedly implicated in covert operations and acting on behalf of Russian interests.
Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin’s Family
Prigozhin was born as an only child to his mother, Violetta Kirovna Prigozhina, a dedicated hospital nurse, and his father, Viktor Yevgenyevich Prigozhin, a mining engineer. Tragically, Yevgeny lost his father at the tender age of nine, which had a profound impact on his formative years. His grandfather, Yevgeny Ilyich Prigozhin, was a decorated captain in the Red Army, honored for his bravery during World War II, particularly in the Battles of Rzhev, and awarded the “For Courage” medal.
It’s worth noting that Prigozhin sponsored the production of the 2020 war film “Rzhev,” based on a 1991 novel by Vyacheslav Kondratyev, which prominently mentions his grandfather’s valorous service.