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Cancer patient, military communism advocate, physically violent boss: Proekt delves into Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin's biography

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Independent investigative publication Proekt (“The Project”) has released previously undisclosed information about the biography of Yevgeny Prigozhin, co-founder of the Wagner Private Military Company (PMC). The report reveals that Prigozhin had a history of physically assaulting his subordinates, underwent cancer treatment, and harbored support for military communism.

All sources interviewed by Proekt noted Prigozhin's hot-tempered character. “If he was dissatisfied with something, he could easily take you out into the corridor, push you – and you’d fly down the stairs,” one of them said. Another source told Proekt the following story: “Once Prigozhin was in a hurry and unhappily kicked the driver from the back seat in the head: ‘Let's go faster.’ After that incident, the driver quit.”

Violence was commonplace in Prigozhin's office, and even had a special employee to administer it, according to eyewitnesses.

“It was an executioner who f*cked you up in the basement and sent [Prigozhin] photos, and he decided whether to keep going [with the blows] or if that was enough,” Vyacheslav Tarasov, formerly one of the office's important employees, recounted in a video message on the day of the June 24 revolt.

Proekt published an example of how Prigozhin communicates with a subordinate, such as the PR employee who prepared the advertising layouts:

“The billboards are F*CKING SH*T from the rest only the press breakfast the rest is also SH*T IN GENERAL HE’S A COMPLETELY STUPID *SSHOLE!!!»

A letter discovered by Proekt in a leak of Prigozhin's corporate email (punctuation in quote unchanged)
A letter discovered by Proekt in a leak of Prigozhin's corporate email (punctuation in quote unchanged)

Proekt also revealed an uncensored photo, previously reported in the media, depicting the severed heads of African men. The framed photo was discovered during a search at Prigozhin's residence. While media outlet Fontanka had previously reported on the photo, this is the first time it was published without being blurred out.

Prigozhin's acquaintances have confirmed that he possessed specific beliefs and advocated for military communism. For instance, former employee Vyacheslav Tarasov addressed Prigozhin during the mutiny, saying:

“Your ideal is military communism, and what excites you most of all are the executions. Of course, ‘for the good of the motherland,’ but only you personally will decide whom to shoot, there’s no law – only your opinion and your decision. The helicopter crews will attest to that.”

Tarasov referred to the helicopters downed by Wagner forces during the uprising on June 24. One plane and six helicopters were apparently downed during the mutiny.

According to information obtained by Proekt from Prigozhin's acquaintances, the PMC founder underwent extensive treatment for abdominal cancer and underwent rigorous therapy. “He had cancer. Now the process of tumor formation seems to have been stopped,” said one of the publication’s sources.

Due to the tumor, Prigozhin adheres to a strict diet and maintains a healthy lifestyle. One of his long-term employees remembers seeing him drink a glass of lemonade only once. Although law enforcement found «white powder» briquettes during searches of Prigozhin's residence, Proekt’s sources claim to have never seen him using drugs. “Since he got sick and recovered, he’s forbidden everyone from talking to drug dealers in Africa or Syria. [If you do] you’ll get put in a pit,” said one of Prigozhin’s subordinates.

Prigozhin's close circle attributes the mutiny to his impulsive nature. When asked about the reasons behind the uprising, Prigozhin himself reportedly admitted to his employees: “I went crazy.”

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