Yevgeny Prigozhin: The rise and fall of Wagner boss

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Brian Kinyanjui
Brian Kinyanjui
Brian Kinyanjui is a content writer and a Digital expert covering an array of stories ranging from Politics and business to entertainment. He has nine years of experience in TV and digital media. Previously worked as a Digital producer/ Editor at, Citizen TV and Viusasa and Corporate Communication strategist consultant at ISA. He holds a Bachelor of Communication and a Diploma in Broadcast from Daystar University. Do you have extraordinary political, business or entertainment stories to share with Brian? Email:

It was probably his biggest mistake to lead a mutiny against the Kremlin. Russian watchers described him as a ‘dead man walking.’

Consequently, Russian reports put Yevgeny Prigozhin among those in a plane crash near the village of Kuzhenkino in the Tver Region with no survivors.

Image grab of the crash site

Prigozhin was once an arm’s length away from President Vladimir Putin. He was Putin’s “personal chef” and rose to pose the greatest threat to his rule in the midst of the ‘special operation’ in Ukraine.

In sum two months after launching his march for justice, Prigozhin is reportedly dead, pending confirmation. It would stand as a clearly short-lived mutiny against the Kremlin if his death is confirmed.

(From the left) President Vladimir Putin and Head of the Wagner Mercenary group Yevgeny Prigozhin

Despite recently keeping a low profile, Prigozhin has had a very upbeat profile. He was not considered to be part of the Russian power circle, but he was within reach of those who called the shots.

Rise to power

His life in Saint Petersburg was one of lawlessness and crime. He turned to catering, and this is where he met President Putin, who turned to him to provide food for his birthday parties as well as dinners with visiting leaders.

Among those leaders was former United States President George W. Bush.

Yevgeny Prigozhin attending to Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin

Prigozhin would then have Putin’s ear and be introduced to the Russian army in 2012, supplying food.

Having finally joined the inner circle of Putin’s trusted men, he became the head of the strongest mercenary group in Russia.

Prigozhin would handle different security jobs in Syria, Libya, and West Africa.

Wagner Mercenary Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin

The Downfall

Having been embedded in the Russian army, President Putin would later rely on him to infiltrate Ukraine in his ‘special operation.’

Putin regretted this decision when Prigozhin held a mutiny criticizing Russian efforts in Ukraine.

Many globally saw this as a potential turning point for Russia’s position in the war. Some even predicted a victory for Ukraine.

Many speculated about the active whereabouts of the 60-year-old after he called out the Kremlin.

President Vladimir Putin and Head of the Wagner Mercenary group Yevgeny Prigozhin

A video surfaced online where he did a piece for the camera, claiming the Wagner group made Russia powerful and Africa free.

Russian media reports that the bodies retrieved from the plane crash site will undergo genetic testing for identification.

Resultantly, with the chess pieces in the Kremlin moving fast, a purge of the top-ranking generals under Prigozhin seems imminent.

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