September 19, 2023

President Bush and Putin's Chef


President Bush and Putin's Chef
Vladimir Putin with George W. Bush, 2007. The White House.

The 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush, revealed that he met Yevgeny Prigozhin, the late founder of PMC Wagner, nearly two decades ago.

As reported by Business Insider, Bush recently attended the Yalta European Strategy Conference, a forum for discussing the future of Ukraine in a European and global context. There, he was asked whether he was taken aback by the news regarding Prigozhin’s death.

He responded, "No, what's shocking to me is I saw a picture the other day of a G8 summit in St. Petersburg, where he was the guy serving me the food," Bush said, “He was Putin's chef, and he was in the picture.”

Bush also admitted to having no recollection of personally meeting Prigozhin. "All I know is that I survived,” he joked.

In the photograph dated July 14, 2006, a younger Prigozhin is seen serving a drink to President Bush and his wife, Laura, while they sit across from Vladimir Putin. It took place at the 32nd G8 summit and the first with Russia hosting. During that period, Prigozhin had garnered the moniker "Putin's chef," due to his role in providing catering services to the Russian leader. His company, Concord, was often hired to host state banquets.

The G8 was an annual gathering of leaders from eight countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, along with the President of the European Commission. Meetings of the group stopped in 2014, due to Russia's initial invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.

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