Many Americans heard of Yevgeny Prigozhin for the first time when he was indicted by Robert Mueller for his part in Russia’s election meddling. Though he was indicted, the odds that the Russians would extradite any of the alleged conspirators to the United States are very low.
Prigozhin, however, may be facing far more serious charges. The Daily Beast is reporting that Prigozhin has been accused of carrying out attacks against political opponents, including an accusation of murder.
The claims against the oligarch were made by Valery Alemchenko, who used to work as an aide to Prigozhin. Alemchenko was interviewed by Russian publication, The Noveya Gazeta.
Alemchenko told the Gazetta, “he arranged the slaying of an opposition blogger and attacks on others for Prigozhin.” He also claimed that “several people who worked for the mogul went to Syria in 2017, where they tested a mysterious toxin on Syrians who wouldn’t fight for the country’s strongman president Bashar al-Assad.”
The claims do seem to back up familiar allegations against Putin’s government, particularly the use of poison to suppress opposition and a close relationship with the controversial al-Assad.
Reaction to the interview was swift. Alemchenko has not been seen since the interviews were conducted. The author of the piece, Denis Korotkov, has been subject to numerous threats including the bodies of dead animals being placed in his apartment.
Prigozhin is known in Russia as Putin’s chef. The ex-con began his incredible rise by opening a catering service that served many of Putin’s parties. He also worked as a ski instructor.
In a piece on Progozhin, the Washington Post wrote, “His career peaked in 2012 when Progozhin was awarded a two-year contract worth $1.6 billion to source more than 90 percent of all food orders for Russian soldiers.
There has yet to be a reaction to the Novaya Gazeta piece from The Kremlin.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology and spending time at the shore with his family.