The Godfather in the Kremlin

The Godfather in the Kremlin

By Michael Kimmage

By the time of his death in a plane crash this week, Yevgeny Prigozhin had come to symbolize the criminal trajectory of the Russian state. In the 1980s, he had been imprisoned in the Soviet Union, after which he experienced a rags-to-riches transformation from street vendor in post-Soviet Russia to close associate of President Vladimir Putin. Prigozhin’s remarkable portfolio ranged from elite catering to election meddling in the U.S. to running the Wagner Group, a government-funded private military apparatus.

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