Yevgeny Prigozhin: the way from prison to Russian state-building

The personality of Yevgeny Prigozhin has occupied a significant place in the information space since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation in Ukraine. This article is the first systematic and analytical investigation of the Yevgeny Prigozhin’s biography and is valuable for those who want to understand who exactly stands behind the war crimes of the Russian Federation in Ukraine and other parts of the world and the ways they act.

Yevgeny Prigozhin is mostly known as the leader of the private military company "Wagner": a terrorist group that carried out military missions in Eastern Ukraine, Syria and Libya, as well as in the Central African Republic. PMC "Wagner" of Yevgeny Prigozhin is under sanctions of the US, EU and Japan, accused of human rights violations and war crimes of varying severity. Prigozhin himself and his family members were included in the sanctions lists before Wagner due to their active activities in Russia, which resulted in interference in the US presidential election and other equally serious charges. 

Prigozhin is a native of a Russian high-security colony who built a career through connections with criminal authorities. Business supported by criminals gradually brought Prigozhin closer to the state affairs of the Russian Federation. He is one of the main ideologists of the war in Ukraine and a close friend of Vladimir Putin, dating back to his days as an assistant mayor of St. Petersburg. Prigozhin has come a long way from being Putin's personal "chef", when he organized status dinners for the future president of Russia, to the largest contractor of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. 

We look into the complicated biography of Yevgeny Prigozhin, his prison past, his ties to the Russian establishment, his path to becoming a businessman, his military activity and affiliates of all his numerous businesses. We reveal schemes to circumvent sanctions through members of the Prigozhin family, and make an excursion into Russian criminals. 

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Early period: childhood, prison, first business after imprisonment

Yevgeny Prigozhin was born in 1961: either in St. Petersburg or Murmansk – there is no exact information about the place of birth. From an early age, his stepfather inspired Yevgeny to take up skiing, which later grew into admission to a specialized boarding school. After graduating from school in 1977, he received his first conviction just a couple of years later. Then in 1979, the court sentenced him to a suspended sentence for theft, this term did not scare the future leader of the "Wagner", and two years later he received a really significant sentence: in 1981, the court sentenced him to 13 years in prison in a reinforced regime colony under the articles "theft", "robbery", "fraud", "involvement of a minor in criminal activity, begging, prostitution, gambling". 

The second court sentence of Yevgeny Prigozhin

According to a media request for details of Prigozhin's criminal case, he and his accomplices attacked and robbed a woman near the entrance to her house. The thieves took gold earrings worth 50 Soviet rubles and boots, which they removed from the unconscious woman after beating her. Also in the case file there are four cases of previous robberies of apartments with "causing significant material damage to the owners" committed by Prigozhin and the conspirators: the amount of loot at that time was 177, 980, 1610 and 250 Soviet rubles respectively. In total, Prigozhin and his accomplices have 6 criminal episodes on their record. The last robbery ended in failure because the thieves were noticed at the crime scene. 

Illustration of the loot by Prigozhin and accomplices

The case file states that one of the members of Prigozhin's criminal group evaded mandatory treatment for syphilis, which was found shortly before his detention. Also, among the conspirators was a minor, respecting whom Prigozhin's lawyer filed motions alleging that his client did not know the true age of the group member. But the court rejected these motions.

Thus, Yevgeny Prigozhin became a prisoner of a Soviet high-security camp and began serving his sentence in a penal colony. 

"Pedophile Yevgeny" and sexual relations in the colony

In the book "Putinburg" by Russian journalist Dmitry Zapolskiy there is a chapter called "Pedophile Yevgeny", dedicated to Prigozhin. According to the book, this is how Prigozhin was called in the zone, and it was because of pimping and involving minors in prostitution that he was convicted. 

According to the published court decision, one of the articles under which Prigozhin was convicted, indeed, additionally provides for the involvement of minors in prostitution, but such actions of Prigozhin are not mentioned in the decision itself. 

Cover of the book "Putinburg" by Dmitry Zapolskiy about the Russian criminal elite in Putin's time

Returning to the chapter "Pedophile Yevgeny", dedicated to Prigozhin, we find a description of the author's visit to Prigozhin's first restaurant "Staraya Tamozhnya" at the invitation of his acquaintance, a former prostitute and escort person, who tells him that Prigozhin was "raped by prisoners" in the zone and cooperated with the colony administration.  

The version of same-sex sexual relations is also confirmed by an incident that occurred in November 2022: then Russian media and telegram channels shared a video with a man who introduced himself as a "thief in law" Sasha Kurara and said that in the 1980s he was Prigozhin's cellmate. He also said that while serving his sentence in the zone, Prigozhin was "raped by prisoners", in particular, he had passive sexual relations with Kurara. 

❗️ Disclaimer. The Molfar OSINT community respects people of all orientations and genders equally, we support people's right to self-identification and do not condemn any manifestations of sexuality. However, we would like to emphasize that sexual violence is a violation of the law and a grave human rights violation regardless of the sex, orientation, or gender of the perpetrator. Pedophilia, a serious mental disorder that leads to violations of the law and violence, is also a crime and a disregard for human rights (including children's rights). Sexual relations with minors and involvement of minors in prostitution, as well as prostitution itself, are illegal and are also treated by us as a crime.

In Prigozhin's life, according to the book "Putinburg", there was another case of sexual nature, which is worth telling about. One of the waitresses of a floating restaurant opposite The Menshikov Palace, which belonged to Prigozhin (we are talking about New Island restaurant), told about her own brutal rape by a restaurant security guard on the orders of Prigozhin, who was watching the process. The rape took place in the outbuildings of the restaurant. A wine bottle was used during the rape. Prigozhin gave this order to the security guard because the girl forbade her 15-year-old brother to approach the restaurant because the boy wanted to work there, and Prigozhin showed excessive attention to him, in her opinion. After the rape, the girl was given a thousand dollars "for silence". 

The story with his imprisonment ended before the term of detention came to an end by the court decision. In 1988 Prigozhin was pardoned, and in 1990 he was released from the colony-settlement. Since then, a new stage in the life of the hero of our investigation began, the stage of building a business and establishing connections.

First money after release from prison

Immediately after his release from the colony-settlement, in 1990, Yevgeny Prigozhin organized a business selling hot dogs in St. Petersburg. According to him, the monthly profit was a thousand dollars, provided that from each point of sale "we had to pay the bandits $100". His stepfather helped him to run this business, and his mother "counted the money from the deals in the kitchen". Selling hot dogs allowed Prigozhin to accumulate his first capital and continue his career as a businessman in the catering industry. 

However, immediately after the "hot dogs", the story of Prigozhin is associated with the names of criminal authorities.

Around 1991, Prigozhin met his former boarding school classmate Boris Spector. He was "one of the first St. Petersburg entrepreneurs", and at that time he was already planning to expand his business. Spector was developing casinos, and he invited Prigozhin to manage the first chain of private food stores, "Contrast". 

"The chain was very popular at the time – other stores had not yet been rebuilt from the Soviet assortment, and the three stores of the "Contrast" had a large selection of products, customers came here from all over the city".

It is known for certain that from 1991 to 1997 Yevgeny Prigozhin had 15% in the supermarket chain "Contrast-24". Probably, Prigozhin's determination in organizing the hot dog business, which was not typical for Russia in the 90s, also contributed to his financial support from Spector in the development of the first St. Petersburg supermarkets.

Boris Spector opened the world of big business for Yevgeny Prigozhin. A former prisoner of the penal colony, then a hot dog seller and the head of Spector's chain of stores "Contrast" – Prigozhin continued to deepen his acquaintances and acquire the necessary skills to start his own big business.

New connections of young Prigozhin: Gorbenko, Mirilashvili

From 1995 to 2019, Prigozhin was among the co-founders of the Nevsky Union organization, which specialized in restaurants. Other co-founders of the organization are the owners of the first casino in St. Petersburg "Konti": Boris Spector, Igor Gorbenko and Mikhael Mirilashvili. The latter is also known as "Misha Kutaisky".

In the future, it was the gambling business that would introduce Prigozhin to Putin, but before that, Spector, Gorbenko and Mirilashvili remained his main business partners. Although this partnership was profitable for Prigozhin, it was not equal: he was the head of some companies and organizations whose official founders were Gorbenko and Mirilashvili. Thus, Prigozhin gained the necessary connections and business skills, but for a long time remained in the shadow of his more famous partners.

The fact of Mikhael Mirilashvili's friendship with the former mayor of St. Petersburg Anatoly Sobchak speaks eloquently about the great role of Mikhael Mirilashvili in the formation of Putin's elites. According to the Russian media, Mirilashvili financed Sobchak's election campaign. Putin had been Sobchak's advisor since May 1990. After Sobchak was elected as the mayor, Putin headed the Committee on External Relations of the Mayor's Office, in 1992 he became deputy mayor, then first deputy mayor, and held this position until 1996. During this period, the so-called "Sobchak team" worked in the St. Petersburg mayor's office, including Dmitry Medvedev and Sergei Naryshkin, the current head of the Russian foreign intelligence service. 

Mikhael Mirilashvili is also associated with a large Ukrainian IT company Plarium, which in 2017 was bought by the Australian slot machine manufacturer and online game developer Aristocrat Leisure Limited for $500 million. Before that, according to, the Mirilashvili family owned a total of ~40% of Plarium: Mikhael – 22%, his son Vyacheslav – 16.4%, the rest of the shares belonged to the founders. 

After the death of his father, Michael Mirilashvili, who headed the World Congress Of Georgian Jews (WCGJ) in Russia, in 2009, Michael Mirilashvili Junior took over this position: at the photo he shakes hands with Putin. 

For Prigozhin, connections and partnership with Mirilashvili is a way to Sobchak, and then to Putin. A path that Prigozhin took with great desire. 

Gambling business and meeting with Putin

According to the publication, Prigozhin met current Russian President Vladimir Putin in 1991. Prigozhin owes this acquaintance to the gambling business. At that time, both Prigozhin and Putin were minor partners of "really big businessmen". The similarity of their position and ambitions did not leave these two chances – the acquaintance between the future terrorists took place.

Much later, in 2018, Prigozhin would earn the nickname "Putin's chef" due to an Associated Press article that described him as a man who earned Putin's trust through his stomach. But the establishment of trust was preceded not only by good food, but also by decades of interaction in the business sphere.

Yevgeny Prigozhin was nicknamed "Putin's chef" in the media

The founders of the first casino in St. Petersburg "Konti" were already well known to us Spector, Gorbenko and Mirilashvili. The latter was in close ties with Sobchak, who had Putin as his deputy in charge of gambling and hotels. Prigozhin, as we said earlier, was not an equal among the casino owners, but was their partner – he served as a manager in some branches of the company. 

So Prigozhin and Putin began to cooperate in a partnership – they both performed managerial functions in the companies of people on whom they depended. And both constantly wanted more. 

After gaining experience in managing large projects in the restaurant and gambling businesses, as well as influential acquaintances, Prigozhin decided to continue doing business on his own. According to insider sources, he was forced to pay compensation to Spektor, Horbenko and Mirilashvili, which also indicates their investments at the start of his business and his unequal position within the partnership. 

Independent business of Yevgeny Prigozhin: restaurants, catering and fast food

In 1996, Prigozhin opened the first gourmet restaurant in St. Petersburg "Staraya Tamozhnya" (Old Customs in Russian) in the building of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Its co-founder was Kirill Ziminov. In the book "Putinburg" about Prigozhin's first restaurant, it is stated that it was sponsored by a Moscow thief nicknamed "Grandfather Hassan". 

Photo of Putin with Grandfather Hassan in the 1990s

After that, in the same 1996 Prigozhin opened a restaurant of Russian authentic cuisine "Na zdorovye!" (“Cheers!” in Russian), which did not distinguish itself in the events important for our story.

The next project of Prigozhin, which we will study in detail, is the restaurant "Concord", which was registered as the organization "Concord Management and Consulting" with the classification for the activities of restaurants and food delivery services. In the same year Prigozhin opened the catering direction of "Concord", which was really put into operation much later – only in 2011, when "Concord" began to provide ready-made lunches to schools in the North and South-Eastern districts of Moscow.

According to the publication, from 2011 to 2019, Prigozhin's companies fulfilled more than 5000 orders totaling more than 209 billion rubles (almost 3.2 billion dollars).

The next in the chronology was the restaurant "New Island" opened in 1998 on the ship, which became a new popular meeting place among the financial and political elite of the then Russian Federation. The place became so famous that in three years – in 2001 on board of the "New Island" was held a dinner of the Presidents of Russia and France Vladimir Putin and Jacques Chirac. And in 2002, Putin hosted former US President George W. Bush in the restaurant.

2006, George W. Bush visited Vladimir Putin, Yevgeny Prigozhin as a waiter

Also, Yevgeny Prigozhin from 2002 to 2012 developed the fast food chain "Blin! Donald's", which was later closed. But for our story, this network is not relevant because with the beginning of Putin's presidency in May 2000, Prigozhin took up much more significant projects in the field of construction and military support of the Russian Federation. An adult Prigozhin entered this business, with money, connections and a firm belief that further will be only bigger, better and more profitable.  

Big business of Prigozhin: construction projects, rental income, cooperation with the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

RC "Northern Versailles" – belongs to Prigozhin
Residential complex and hotel complex "Lakhta Plaza" – belongs to Prigozhin
RC "Lakhtapark" – belongs to Prigozhin
Residential complex "The Bay of Islands" – the rights to implement and permission of the City Administration belong to Prigozhin

During the following years, Yevgeny Prigozhin had great success in the construction business. The table above shows the largest construction projects of Prigozhin, we have deliberately excluded small projects and partnerships in small construction projects. 

To manage all his construction projects, Yevgeny Prigozhin has used and continues to use three legal entities: Investotel LLC, Rhythm LLC and Russian Empire LLC.

Investotel LLC was founded between 2003 and 2006, and is legally subordinated to Prigozhin's organization Concord Management and Consulting. Two other legal entities – LLC "Rhythm" and LLC "Russian Empire" – are independent, founded in 2006 and 2004-2009 respectively. All these entities specialize in the management and leasing of residential and non-residential commercial real estate. 

In the case of construction, Prigozhin's conflict with the government of St. Petersburg is interesting: he sued the city administration and won cases related to the allocation of land for construction. In October 2022, this conflict escalated: then, during the premiere of the Russian action film "The Best in Hell" on the social networking platform YARUS, one of the producers of which was Yevgeny Prigozhin, the governor of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov banned the film in the city. After that, in November, Prigozhin filed a lawsuit with the Prosecutor General's Office of Russia and the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation demanding to investigate Governor Beglov under the article on treason.

Contracts with the Ministry of Defense of Russia

Since May 2012, when Vladimir Putin began his third term as president of the Russian Federation, Prigozhin's companies have been winning state tenders and taking over the competencies of former state monopolies. 

In 2012, OJSC Voentorg, founded by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, began to prepare for liquidation in order to transfer the assets for providing food to the military – to Prigozhin's company Concord. It was planned to establish a retail company based on former stores and warehouses. The estimated profit of the Russian state from the transfer of assets was $1 billion. It is almost impossible to estimate Prigozhin's earnings from this deal: Vladimir Putin and other well-known Russian officials personally participated in this scheme, and all information was carefully concealed. 

Two years after the liquidation of the state monopoly Voentorg and the transfer of the company's powers to Yevgeny Prigozhin's Concord organization, another significant case occurred. In 2014, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu proposed to transform Oboronservice into a commercial structure, as embezzlement was detected in the activities of Oboronservice. It was decided to transfer the functions of the companies included in Oboronservice in the reconstruction and maintenance of military camps to a commercial structure.

Thus, the divisions of "Oboronservice" under the name "Slavyanka", "Oboronstroy" and "REU" were to be transferred to a commercial structure, and one of the main contenders was the organization "Megaline", which is owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin through "Concord Management and Consulting". And so it happened. Since then, Prigozhin's profits have increased several times as a result of receiving state tenders. 

Then Sergei Shoigu did not even suspect that by this decision he created a powerful competitor who would want to take even more power. Including in the military sphere. 

Between 2014 and 2015, Yevgeny Prigozhin's Concord organization won 10.3 billion rubles (over $231 million) worth of state tenders for cleaning barracks and educational institutions of the Russian Defense Ministry. In general, in 2015, companies associated with Prigozhin, according to RBC, won tenders from the Ministry of Defense for catering, cleaning and construction services for 68.6 billion rubles (over $1.5 billion)

But these amounts concern only those companies that are directly related to Yevgeny Prigozhin. After all, there were much, much more affiliated companies, the potential beneficiary of which at that time was Prigozhin. Here is an example. 

  • In 2015, companies allegedly related to Concord won tenders of a subsidiary of the Russian Ministry of Defense for 26 billion rubles (approximately $600 million) for utilities for military camps in Moscow, Bryansk and Tver regions of Russia. 
  • Earlier that year, Megaline, a company directly affiliated with Prigozhin, was awarded a contract to build a military base in the Belgorod region. The same company won a tender for a prefabricated military town for 161 million rubles (over $3.5 million) in the Omsk region. 

Thus, by the end of 2015, the participation of Yevgeny Prigozhin in the state and military affairs of the Russian Federation has become not just significant, it has become critically important for state-building. But as of now, we have considered the scale of Prigozhin's activities only in one plane. In fact, his parallel activities related to media broadcasting, propaganda and military affairs were no less significant. 

Yevgeny Prigozhin, propaganda and war: activities of the "troll factory" and PMC "Wagner"

According to the media, Prigozhin has been funding and supervising the "Internet Research Agency" or "troll factory", also known as the "Internet Research Agency" (IRA), since 2014, which was organized in 2013. Its purpose was to post pro-government and anti-opposition posts online. According to the publication, IRA constantly changed legal entities. In 2018, Facebook blocked 115 Facebook and Instagram accounts and 138 Facebook Pages that were associated with IRA.

Meta post about blocking accounts associated with bots by Yevgeny Prigozhin

The activities of Yevgeny Prigozhin's "troll factory", regardless of the change of legal names, are directly related to the justification of the aggressive actions of the Russian army. In particular, the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of hostilities in Donbas were implemented with the media support of Yevgeny Prigozhin's bots.

Prigozhin is also the founder of the organization "Aurum", which specializes in the distribution of films and TV programs, and is related to the "troll factory". To a lesser extent, Prigozhin appears among the co-founders or partners in other companies that are also associated with the media activity of the "troll factory". It should be noted that the scale of activity of Yevgeny Prigozhin's "troll factory" cannot be truly assessed. But in the context of the Russian Federation, he owns the largest number of artificially created accounts that provide media support to the Vladimir Putin regime. 

Below, we will consider only the information that is significant or closely related to the organization and support of the war in Ukraine. 

During the analysis of the network infrastructure of Prigozhin's media projects, it was found that IP, in addition to the domains of Prigozhin's news sites, and, also hosts the domain of the Russian Orthodox Church and domains with pornography, and 

Yevgeny Prigozhin's "Federal News Agency" used the same Google Analytics tag UA-53159797 in 2014-2016 for its own website, and 12 other political websites among them:,, – these three sites were active in 2014-2015 in Ukraine, and are inactive as of December 2022. The same analytics tag appeared in 2015 in an investigation about Russian resources that worked in Ukraine and were associated with the "troll factory", in particular, the text refers to The same tag UA-53159797 was used for in 2016. In 2014, functioned as a news site that published news with manipulative and emotional headlines that discredited the Ukrainian government. 

The analyzed activity shows that the company of Yevgeny Prigozhin is connected, among other things, with the processes of discrediting the Ukrainian authorities and conducting information attacks on the Ukrainian political leadership. Single confirmations of this hypothesis are unlikely to become more numerous due to the termination of support for the work of individual sites or reorientation of their activities. However, the very fact of such activity says a lot about the sphere of competence of Prigozhin's companies.

Interference of Prigozhin's bots in the US presidential elections

In 2018, the US Department of Justice accused IRA and its employee Artem Lifshitz of interfering in the American political processes and elections in 2016. According to the lawsuit, the project was called Lakhta and was deployed in the United States since 2014. IRA was a cover for the deployment of Lakhta in the United States, and Artem Lifshits was one of the key employees of the American direction. To register online on American resources and participate in political discussions, project participants bought leaked American documents online and used them in their activities, polarizing and radicalizing online political discussions on sensitive topics: gun ownership, LGBT, racial conflicts, etc. However, when testing the hypothesis that there are links between the IRA and Donald Trump's companies, the investigation did not reveal these links.

In July 2022, the U.S. State Department announced a reward of up to $10m for information about individuals engaged in interference in the U.S. elections from abroad. The statement said that US authorities are seeking information about the Troll Factory, Yevgeny Prigozhin and related organizations and affiliated individuals.

In November 2022, Prigozhin's press service published Prigozhin's confirmation, his positive response to Russia News' question about Russia's interference in the 2022 US Congressional elections. 

Prigozhin's response to accusations of interference in the US election process

This leaves only PMC "Wagner" and numerous frauds with the participation of his family to circumvent the sanctions imposed on them. We will continue our story in this order. 

PMC "Wagner": illegal military formation in the service of Putin

Private military company "Wagner", also known as "Wagner group" (Wagner group / PMC Wagner) is a Russian non-state military formation established in ~2013 and controlled by Prigozhin. Since 2014, the group operated in Ukraine and later in Syria. However, there is information about the death of a Russian mercenary in Syria in 2013.
In 2017, PMC Wagner was included in the US sanctions list, which fixed its name ("PMC Wagner"). In 2021, the EU imposed sanctions against the PMC for undermining the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, destabilizing the situation in Syria and Libya, and violating human rights. 

In 2022, after the beginning of the full-scale war of Russia against Ukraine, sanctions were also imposed on PMC Wagner by Japan. Additionally, the UN and France accuse the group of rapes and robberies in the CAR. 

A number of media outlets reported about the presence of the group's training base in the Krasnodar region, and about the presence of a rehabilitation center in Gelendzhik, which the media previously considered "Prigozhin's apartments". Molfar OSINT community has confirmed information about the training ground of PMC "Wagner", which, however, is located not in Krasnodar region, but in Leningrad region. We received this confirmation while researching another extremist neo-Nazi group called "DShRG Rusich", which also participated in the war in eastern Ukraine, the Russian intervention in Syria and the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 as part of Russian troops. 

Photo of one of the leaders and ideologists of "DSHRG Rusich", Milchakov Oleksiy Yuriyovych

It is known that in 2017 "Rusich" conducted training of underage children in military disciplines at the sites belonging to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Probably, the training by the representatives of "Rusich" was financed from the state budget of Russia. The media also pointed to the possible connection of "Rusich" with "Wagner PMC". Both the leader of "Rusich" Milchakov, and the nominal leader of the Wagner group, Dmitry Utkin, served in the 76th Guards Airborne Assault Division of the Airborne Forces. In 2017, the mercenaries of the "Rusich" mercenary group, led by Oleksiy Milchakov, joined the "Wagner PMC", after which they were deployed to the Middle East to participate in the war and support Bashar al-Assad's troops. 

During the correspondence with representatives of "DSHRG Rusich" we managed to get confirmation of the group's training ground in Sertolovo, Leningrad region, near the "copper plant". 

Excerpts of correspondence with representatives of the "DSHRG Rusich"

Based on the close ties between the leadership of both armed groups and the highest hierarchy of Prigozhin's militants, we can conclude that the training ground belongs to the "Wagner". And the "DSHRG Rusich" use the "Wagner" training bases in exchange for participation in armed conflicts, beneficial and supported by the Russian Federation. It should also be noted that the financing of the militants in all cases points to Yevgeny Prigozhin and persons directly related to him. 

As for the peculiarities of financing, PMC Wagner is not listed neither in law enforcement agencies nor in the register of legal entities, and its militants are not in the form lists of personnel. According to the media, the group is managed by the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. 

Yevgeny Prigozhin himself has long denied any connection with the Wagner PMC. However, during the escalation of hostilities in Ukraine, in July 2022, there were reports of Prigozhin's visits to prisons to recruit prisoners to join the ranks of the “Wagner”. And in September, a video confirming the recruitment appeared. In November 2022, the media published information that more than 500 prisoners recruited by the group died in the war on the territory of Ukraine.

STERNENKO: «Prigozhin is a bastard, of course. He personally shows what awaits the “Wagner” militants in Ukraine and shoots a video with mountains of corpses of his mercenaries».

Then, in September 2022, the Concord press service published a letter from Prigozhin, in which he confirmed that he was the creator of the Wagner PMC, and also stated that he tried not to advertise his connection with Wagner in order "not to frame any of the members of the group". In the same month, Prigozhin appeared at the funeral of a dead mercenary from Wagner.

If we do not go into all the known details about the activities of PMC "Wagner", the general conclusions will be as follows: "Wagner" is a private army of Vladimir Putin personally, which is kept for him by Yevgeny Prigozhin. Despite its illegality in Russia, PMC "Wagner" continues to operate in the interests of the Russian Federation and even receives more and more privileges from the Russian government to continue its activities.

Also, noteworthy is the "PMC Wagner Center", information about the creation of which appeared in October 2022. Yevgeny Prigozhin uses a large business center to recruit software specialists. Thus, Prigozhin wants to create dual-use products for the war against Ukraine and support armed conflicts in other parts of the world. 

According to an investigation by the OSINT community Molfar, Prigozhin's hackathon at the Wagner Center PMC involved a team of developers whose leader is wanted by the FBI on charges of stealing money through the use of specially designed ransomware. 

So now we left only to consider the family of Yevgeny Prigozhin and the degree of participation of his relatives in the businesses of the PMC "Wagner" leader.

Yevgeny Prigozhin's family and their involvement in circumventing the sanctions

The first thing to know about the Prigozhin’s family is that they are united enough to have joint businesses, legal entities, real estate and partnership projects. Even if we consider all the assets to be owned exclusively by Yevgeny Prigozhin, we can see a high degree of involvement of his family members in the management and administration of these assets. Yevgeny Prigozhin used each member of his family for his own business interests, which is why all of them are under international sanctions, along with Yevgeny Prigozhin himself. 

Lyubov Prigozhina in 2014

Yevgeny Prigozhin's wife, Prigozhina / Kriajeva Lyubov Valentynivna (26.06.1970), was involved in dozens of her husband's legal cases. However, very soon her name was at the top of the sanctions lists of Japan, New Zealand, Great Britain, the United States, the European Union, Australia and Canada, which is why she withdrew from almost all legal entities or re-registered them to her son. As of December 2022, she remains the founder of only two organizations: JSC "Shop of Merchants Eliseevs", LLC "Agat-A" – and a co-founder in LLC "Museum of Chocolate". This is the limit of her participation in Prigozhin's projects, but she and her husband have children together: Veronika, Polina and Pavel, who help their father run several businesses and manage numerous projects in various fields.

Prigozhina Polina in 2021

The eldest daughter of Yevgeny Prigozhin, Prigozhina Polina Yevhenivna (15.08.1992), literally works for her father, and at the same time appears among the founders of some projects. The status of a successful father most likely plays into the hands of Polina Prigozhina. In 2021, she was employed at Lahta Plaza LLC, where she was also a founder from 2019 to 2020. Also in the same period, she was the founder of Credo LLC, a company for the management of leased and own non-residential real estate. And even earlier, from 2012 to 2014, according to rupep and opensanctions, she was a director in the German legal entity "Sporthorses Management GmbH", which specialized in horse breeding. 

The management of luxury businesses and the status of the founder, which secures her belonging to billions of assets, must be very pleasant for young Polina Prigozhina. At the same time, this situation is very beneficial for her father, who is very well aware of the convenience of the position he created, so he actively uses the names of children for his own business purposes. 

However, in 2022, everything changed: the degree of involvement of Polina Prigozhina in her father's businesses became less and less due to the inclusion of her name in the sanctions lists of the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

Among all the assets associated with Prigozhin's daughter, the connection with the elite hotel "Trezzini Palace" is particularly interesting. Here's how it was found: Polina Prigozhina's phone number (+79219316901) is also signed as "Polina Evgenievna Prigozhina Trezzini", which probably indicates Polina's connection with the elite hotel "Trezzini Palace" in St. Petersburg, made in the style of the imperial Peter the Great era. The hotel is located in the palace of the XVIII century, which was built by order of Peter II by the Swiss architect Domenico Trezzini for "wealthy guests". The hotel has 21 suites ranging from $150 to $2k per night. The domain is registered to Hotel Service LLC. At the same IP-address there are other 13 domains of the hotel, they are also connected by the Google Analytics tag UA-71190327. The same tag is placed on the websites of Prigozhin's restaurants "Staraya Tamozhnya", "Na zdorovye", "Russkiy kitsch". Probably, the Prigozhin family has a certain share in the elite hotel "Trezzini Palace".

Photo of Pavel Prigozhin

Next, let us consider Prigozhin's son, who became the heir to his mother's assets, which were transferred to him after international sanctions were imposed on her. Pavel Yevhenovych Prigozhin (18.06.1998) – son of Yevgeny Prigozhin – also actively helps his father to manage the family business empire. Since 2018 he is a founder in Beta LLC, since 2020 – a founder in Lahta Park Premium, Lahta Park and Lahta Plaza, since 2022 in Turstatus LLC. As his name remained off the sanctions lists for a long time, he constantly deepened his involvement in his father's assets.

In 2021, Pavel Prigozhin was employed by several legal entities at once:

According to Prigozhin's statement, his son Pavel completed his conscript service in the Russian army, and a month after its completion, he went to Syria as part of the Wagner PMC, where he was as of September 2022. However, this does not interfere with Pavel Prigozhin's legal participation in family businesses.

Veronika Prigozhinain 2022

The last of Prigozhin's children, the youngest child in the family, is Veronika Yevhenivna Prigozhina (19.03.2005). Despite her young age (as of December 2022, she was 17 years old), the youngest daughter of Prigozhin in September 2022 became the sole legal owner of the St. Petersburg hotel "Red Stars Hotel", the legal entity LLC "Redstars". Probably, the legal entity was re-registered in Veronika's name because as of December 2022, she remains the only one in the family who has not yet been sanctioned. Veronika's father, of course, uses her name in his own interests, and everything suggests that the degree of Veronika Prigozhina's involvement in family businesses will actively increase in the coming years. 

Prigozhina Violetta in 2017

We also propose to return to Yevgeny Prigozhin's parents, who in fact became his first business partners after his imprisonment. Let's start with Yevgeny's mother: Violetta Kirovna Prigozhina (12.01.1939) is the founder and employed in a number of her son's legal entities.

  • From 2010 to 2016 the founder of LLC "Resource", construction of residential and non-residential buildings, legal entity liquidated.
  • In 2014 she was the General Director of "Portal+" LLC, wholesale trade and "Etalon", computer trade.
  • In 2017 she was employed at "Alliance" LLC, transport rental.
  • From 2019 to 2021, she was the founder of the art support fund "Colors of Life", the fund continues to work.

Also, according to the publication, Prigozhin's mother was the owner of the Concord company, but no records confirming this have been found. 

Of course, over time, Yevgeny Prigozhin transferred the legal ownership rights from his parents to his wife and children, but he continues to use his mother's name to manage the assets. As well as the name of his stepfather, Zharky Samuel Friedmanovich (27.08.1932), who is an experienced ski instructor.

It is said that it was his stepfather who inspired Prigozhin to start skiing, which is why he studied at a sports boarding school. However, skiing is one thing, and a business empire is quite another. The stepfather's name also served in the interests of Yevgeny Prigozhin: from 1997 to 2004, Zharkyi was a co-founder of Ostrov LLC together with Prigozhin's partner Kyrylo Zimin, probably, the legal entity served the New Island restaurant. From 2003 to 2009 Zharky was the head of "Agat Stroy" LLC, and from 2008 to 2009 the head in "Prodtorg", where the founder was Lyubov Prigozhina. All legal entities have been liquidated.

In 2014, Prigozhin's stepfather was the CEO of Concord Management Consulting and the CEO of Sky CJSC (frozen food trade). Also in 2014, he was the CEO of AAT (now Agat), which belonged to Lyubov Prigozhina. The fact that his stepfather held managerial and responsible positions, albeit purely nominally, speaks of Yevgeny Prigozhin's respect for his foster father. And this once again confirms the unity of the Prigozhin’s family, which allows them to manage such a huge number of assets at the same time. 

According to the insider, Zharky was registered as a criminal, but no information about his criminal record was found. 

About the Prigozhin’s family assets 

It is impossible to calculate the exact number of assets owned by the Prigozhin family. However, according to information from open sources, the Prigozhin’s family own a huge number of property and non-property assets, which are reflected on the balance sheet of numerous legal entities of Yevgeny Prigozhin. In particular, the Prigozhin family owns 15 cars with a total value of more than 300 thousand dollars, apartments on the Black Sea coast, a private estate, an elite residential complex consisting of 45 houses, yachts, planes and other real estate. 

Yevgeny Prigozhin is an international war criminal, a leader of terrorist groups operating in different parts of the world, and at the same time – a billionaire, a successful businessman, an important person for the Russian Federation. Despite all his wealth and achievements, he personally travels to the frontline positions of Russian invaders and participates in propaganda videos. He is a participant in the backstage intrigues that take place in Vladimir Putin's environment. The functioning of the Russian military-industrial complex depends on him. 

He is one of the pillars on which Vladimir Putin's regime rests. The war unleashed in Ukraine threatens his personal existence as a functional unit of this regime. That is why he will stop at nothing to achieve the goals of the war. This makes him even more dangerous than you can imagine after reading this article. He is ready to use all his resources to destroy Ukraine and support Putin's regime, and he is already doing it. 

✉️ The Molfar OSINT community is ready to provide additional information about the assets of the Prigozhin’s family or other sections of this material in case of a personal request to us at: [email protected]

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