World ‘Putin’s Chef’ Barred From Europe for Shady Mercenary Operations
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When he was released from a Soviet prison in 1990,went to work as a hot dog salesman. Soon, the budding entrepreneur—who had just served nine years for robbery and fraud—began moving up in the world of gastronomy. He became the manager of a chain of grocery stores in St. Petersburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hometown, and eventually expanded into the restaurant business.
In the late 90s, Prigozhin opened New Island, a floating restaurant on St. Petersburg’s Vyatka river. It became popular with the local elite, and a few years after its launch, Putin showed up for dinner at New Island with French President Jacques Chirac. As has now become lore in certain circles, Prigozhin himself waited on them.
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In an interview with Russian state television, Vladimir Putin also criticized the tone of the first presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.In an interview on his 68th birthday for a state-backed TV channel, the Russian leader also gave an assessment of the U.S. presidential campaign and offered warm words for Joe Biden, although he criticized the tone the Democratic contender took during the first presidential debate with President Donald Trump.
Prigozhin, who would come to be known as “Putin’s chef,” has said that New Island was inspired by the waterfront restaurants he saw along the Seine in Paris. But as of yesterday, he’s barred from visiting them anytime soon.
On Oct. 15, Prigozhin was, freezing all of his European assets and barring him from entering the EU. The reason behind the ban had nothing to do with food, but with the activities of the Wagner Group, a private military company allegedly established in 2014. Prigozhin has
The mercenary force, which isclosely tied to the Kremlin, has fought to prop up Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar—who is battling the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord.
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In announcing Prigozhin’s EU ban, a statement from Brussels accused the Wagner Group of threatening Libya’s “peace, stability and security.”
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Over the summer, Prigozhin wasfor the Wagner Group’s operations in the North African nation. Prigozhin is also the founder of Russia’s notorious Internet Research Agency, the state-backed “troll farm” of interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Meanwhile, Lyubov Sobol, a lawyer who is close to Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny,. At the same time, Prigozhin is Sobol and Navalny for saying his company served rotten meat to schoolchildren.
Private military companies such as the Wagner Group are in fact. However, certain favored outfits are permitted to operate—which they do, essentially, in a partnership of sorts with the state.
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As Barnard College professor Kimberly Marten, “Keeping these groups illegal in Russia enhances plausible deniability for the Russian state, by allowing the Kremlin to distance itself from any unsavory or risky actions the groups take.”
The Wagner Group is said to have as many as 2,000 mercenaries in Libya, and has put for-profit boots on the ground in, , , and the . To get these contracts, “You need really big connections,” a former member of the Russian security services told The Daily Beast. “It’s an insane amount of money.”
“Everyone knows who is behind it, but nothing [about the government relationship] is put on paper,” said the former operative, who now lives in the U.S. “But they are affiliated with the government, there’s no way around it.”
Thousands dead in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Putin .
The number given by the Russian president is far higher than the death toll given by the two sides. Mr Putin said that he speaks to the two sides several times a day, and would not be taking sides in the conflict.He said that Moscow disagrees with Turkey - which supports Azerbaijan - over the conflict.The Russian president also called on the United States to assist in seeking peace in the region. Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused each other of violating humanitarian ceasefires in Nagorno-Karabakh.