This in-depth profile examines Yevgeny Prigozhin, a former criminal known as Putin’s chef who allegedly played a significant role in Russia’s interference in American elections and events in Syria, Libya, and Ukraine. After his time as a petty criminal, Prigozhin made a name for himself in the restaurant industry, eventually serving and catering to Vladimir Putin and other heads of state.
- Yevgeny Prigozhin has a criminal history involving robbery and violence, including a 13-year prison sentence. After his release, he entered the restaurant business, aided by his connections with significant figures in St. Petersburg’s underworld.
- Prigozhin’s restaurants, such as Old Customs House and New Island, became popular spots for influential figures including Vladimir Putin and other world leaders, earning him the nickname “Putin’s chef”.
- Prigozhin’s relationship with Putin appears to have facilitated his transition from a small-time criminal to a figure of significant political influence, implicated in major global events.
- His rise to power demonstrates a broader issue in Russia, where those with criminal backgrounds can achieve positions of influence and power through personal relationships with political figures.
- In addition to catering to state banquets and personal events for top officials, Prigozhin is alleged to have played a significant role in Russia’s interference in American elections and in events in Syria, Libya, and Ukraine.