Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch and restaurateur who is known as “Putin’s chef” because of his close ties to President Vladimir Putin, is one of the main men behind the Russian troll farm that was used to meddle with the 2016 United States election.
According to Robert Mueller’s 448-page report which was released on Thursday, April 18, Prigozhin was funding the “Internet Research Agency” (IRA). The IRA was one of the main sources used to help the Trump campaign while also adding to political division in the country while advancing Russian business and political interests.
Prizoghin is reportedly worth 11 billion rubles or $200 million, the Washington Post reports.
The New York Times explains how Putin’s chef found wealth.
Il s'appelle Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin, riche oligarque proche de Vladimir Poutine. Il vient d'être inculpé avec12 autres Russes pour ingérence dans l'élection présidentielle de 2016. C'est le sujet principal de notre CARNET AMÉRICAIN avec @clatreil
et C-P David. #RDI2460 pic.twitter.com/YcTsEa37uj
— Anne-Marie Dussault (@AMarieDussault) February 16, 2018
Mr. Prigozhin became one of Russia’s richest men, joining a charmed circle whose members often share one particular attribute: their proximity to President Vladimir V. Putin. The small club of loyalists who gain Mr. Putin’s trust often feast, as Mr. Prigozhin has, on enormous state contracts. In return, they are expected to provide other, darker services to the Kremlin as needed. On Friday, Mr. Prigozhin was one of 13 Russians indicted by a federal grand jury for interfering in the American election.
Prigozhin was among the 13 Russian nationals that was indicted during the special investigation for interfering with the election. He is accused of waging “information warfare against the United States” with social-media personas and fake news stories that damaged Hillary Clinton‘s reputation while propping up and celebrating Donald Trump.
Throughout his investigations, Mueller secured the conviction of one Trump associate, while also obtaining guilty pleas from many others. The Mueller investigation also led to the indictment of many Russian nationals who reportedly interfered with the U.S. election.
Information that was redacted was done so to “protect grand jury material, intelligence sources and methods and ongoing investigations,” according to Attorney General William Barr.
The report is 448 pages.