Wagner boss attacks Russia's defense minister, says his daughter and son-in-law live in luxury while thousands are sent to die in Ukraine

Wagner boss attacks Russia's defense minister, says his daughter and son-in-law live in luxury while thousands are sent to die in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) during the Navy Day Parade in Saint Petersburg, Russia, July 31 2022.Contributor/Getty Images
  • The head of the Wagner Group singled out the daughter and son-in-law of Russia's defense minister.
  • Yevgeny Prigozhin was criticizing Russia's elite for sheltering their kids from the war in Ukraine.

The head of the pro-Kremlin Wagner mercenary group escalated his feud with Russia's military on Tuesday, criticizing the defense minister's daughter as a child of the stereotypical elite.

In an interview with Russian political strategist Konstantin Dolgov, Yevgeny Prigozhin called out Russia's elite for not sending their children to fight in Ukraine, The Times of London reported.

"The children of the elite smear themselves with creams and show off on the internet, while ordinary people's children come home in zinc [coffins], torn to pieces," he said, according to The Times' translation.

Prigozhin directly called out the daughter and the son-in-law of Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu, according to reports.

The couple, Ksenia Shoigu and Alexey Stolyarov, recently shared photos of a holiday in Dubai where they stayed in a luxury hotel, The Times of London reported.


Prigozhin described the pair as the stereotypical children of Russia's elite, who have vastly different experiences to those fighting in Ukraine, according to the Washington DC-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War.

The Washington Post also reported that Prigozhin singled out the pair.

Prigozhin has previously targeted Stolyarov, threatening in February to have his men bring him to train to fight in Ukraine.

Prigozhin's latest attack comes after months of escalating public feuds between the paramilitary boss and top Russian military officials, including Shoigu.

These have included Prigozhin accusing Russia of cutting off ammunition to his group in an "attempt to destroy" it, and threatening to withdraw from the major battle of Bakhmut.


During Tuesday's interview, Prigozhin said that the Russian elite needed to stop sheltering its children from the fighting in Ukraine, adding that "fat, carefree" lives could spark a "revolution" in Russia, causing working-class citizens to storm the elite's villas with pitchforks.

Notable pro-war figures in Russia have been criticized for not sending their children to fight.

Vladimir Solovyov, a pro-Kremlin propagandist and TV figure who is popular with Russian President Vladimir Putin, was accused of hypocrisy in February for his son seemingly working as a model in London at the same time that Solovyov was urging young Russians to fight in Ukraine.

Solovyov pushed back, saying his son was in Moscow and was "living a difficult life of an average young person" and was "not trying to dodge anything."

During the same interview on Tuesday, Prigozhin said that Putin's plan to "demilitarize" Ukraine had been a failure, with Ukraine now having one of the strongest armies in the world.