My Blog

My WordPress Blog

Top News

Prigozhin and his Wagner Group: A murderous symphony

Meet Yevgeny Prigozhin, arguably the most influential mercenary in modern history whose Wagner Group, a shadowy private military company with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and accustomed to doing his bidding, has taken on the Russian state with the capture of Rostov-0n-Don.
The Kremlin has long denied any connection to the Wagner Group. How did a hot-dog seller grow fat on Russian contracts and come to command a murderous flock of ‘Wild Geese’ numbering in the thousands? About 20,000 prisoners convicted of brutal crimes were recruited for the Ukraine war to add to the professional fighters.


After being jailed in 1981 and serving a 9-year sentence, Prigozhin started a hot-dog kiosk, the beginning of a career that would lead to convenience stores, restaurants and lucrative Kremlin catering and construction contracts.
In St Petersburg, Prigozhin opened a kitschy floating restaurant, New Island Restaurant, which came to be popular with oligarchs and officials.
Putin began visiting the restaurant, leading to Prigozhin organising lavish state banquets for the Kremlin.
Often seen, and photographed, floating about Putin’s table, sometimes even clearing plates. Acquires the moniker “Putin’s Chef”


Operates in the dark, offering the Russian state plausible deniability on jobs that required black work — fighting, killings, including mass executions, imparting military training — to enforce Russian authority and exert its influence.
This army of private mercenaries first came to the world’s attention during Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Crimea.
Prigozhin admitted in September 2022 that he had founded Wagner Group.
The private military company takes its name from the nom de guerre of Lt Col Dmitriy Valeryevich Utkin, a Ukrainian-born GRU Spetsnaz commander who fought in both Chechen wars. Utkin is said to have had a fondness for Nazi ideology and their favourite composer, Richard Wagner.
Bears resemblance to Nazi Germany’s Dirlewanger Brigade, a division comprising criminals; considered expendable; took part in the destruction of Warsaw in 1944.
Wagner fighters have been deployed from Europe to central Africa. Used to advance Russian interests in Ukraine, Syria, South Sudan, Mali, Mozambique, Central African Republic, Venezuela. Has served various dictators, notably in Africa. Wagner personnel were sent to Ukraine’s capital Kyiv to try and assassinate President Volodymyr Zelenskyy; they failed.
Wagner Group is not registered anywhere in the world. In Russia, interestingly, mercenaries are outlawed.
Its “soldiers” have been ordered to run at the enemy or be shot from behind. While recruiting prisoners, Prigozhin tells them only “God or Allah” can get them out of prison, but in a coffin, while he will take them alive “though I won’t always return you that way”. They are then given 5 minutes to choose.
Inspired the Mozart Group, founded by retired US Marine colonel Andrew Milburn as an armed riposte to “Wagner Group”.

!(function(f, b, e, v, n, t, s) {
function loadFBEvents(isFBCampaignActive) {
if (!isFBCampaignActive) {
(function(f, b, e, v, n, t, s) {
if (f.fbq) return;
n = f.fbq = function() {
n.callMethod ? n.callMethod(…arguments) : n.queue.push(arguments);
if (!f._fbq) f._fbq = n;
n.push = n;
n.loaded = !0;
n.version = ‘2.0’;
n.queue = [];
t = b.createElement(e);
t.async = !0;
t.defer = !0;
t.src = v;
s = b.getElementsByTagName(e)[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(t, s);
})(f, b, e, ‘’, n, t, s);
fbq(‘init’, ‘593671331875494’);
fbq(‘track’, ‘PageView’);

function loadGtagEvents(isGoogleCampaignActive) {
if (!isGoogleCampaignActive) {
var id = document.getElementById(‘toi-plus-google-campaign’);
if (id) {
(function(f, b, e, v, n, t, s) {
t = b.createElement(e);
t.async = !0;
t.defer = !0;
t.src = v; = ‘toi-plus-google-campaign’;
s = b.getElementsByTagName(e)[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(t, s);
})(f, b, e, ‘’, n, t, s);

window.TimesApps = window.TimesApps || {};
var TimesApps = window.TimesApps;
TimesApps.toiPlusEvents = function(config) {
var isConfigAvailable = “toiplus_site_settings” in f && “isFBCampaignActive” in f.toiplus_site_settings && “isGoogleCampaignActive” in f.toiplus_site_settings;
var isPrimeUser = window.isPrime;
if (isConfigAvailable && !isPrimeUser) {
} else {
var JarvisUrl=””;
window.getFromClient(JarvisUrl, function(config){
if (config) {

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *