July 10, 2023

The Palace and Its Thousand Prigozhins


The Palace and Its Thousand Prigozhins
Wigs and money found at Yevgeny Pregozhin's Palace. Meduza, Telegram.

Following the failed mutiny by Yevgeny Pregozhin and his mercenary Wagner Group, Russian authorities began investigating the billionaire. The FSB raided his palace on the outskirts of St. Petersburg. Photos of what was inside the raided mansion were leaked, revealing a new side of "Putin's chef."

The former hotdog salesman's mansion was filled with luxuries, including an iconostasis and a "hospital room" equipped with a respirator – scarce in Russia during the COVID pandemic. Walls in the mansion were decorated with diplomas and awards, including one from St. Petersburg governor Alexander Beglov. A picture was leaked of a military coat on a mannequin bearing the "Hero of Russia" star, the country's highest honorary title. However, unlike other recipients of this medal, Prigozhin's award event was not publicized. Fontanka estimated that Prigozhin received it on June 20, 2022, slightly over a year before his uprising.

Despite having his house embellished with Kremlin praise, a sledgehammer engraved with "for important negotiations," and a map with pictures of decapitated heads were also found in Prigozhin's palace. Authorities found stacks of dollars, gold, guns, wigs, and fake passports.

Images of Prigozhin
Montage from RT's Twitter

Kremlin-affiliated media have leaked pictures of Prigozhin wearing multiple disguises. Social media users quickly compared his costumes to a Borat-knockoff. Russia Today, a government-sponsored media outlettweeted a meme with many Prigozhin disguises with the caption, "Choose your fighter (or new Tinder profile pic)." 

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has confirmed Prigozhin's return to Russia.

 

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