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  5. Meet the Prigozhins: What to know about the Wagner boss and the relatives who help run his business empire

Meet the Prigozhins: What to know about the Wagner boss and the relatives who help run his business empire

Kai Xiang Teo,Huileng Tan   

Meet the Prigozhins: What to know about the Wagner boss and the relatives who help run his business empire
  • Though little is publicly known about Yevgeny Prigozhin's family, many of them help run his vast business empire.
  • Multiple members of his family have been subject to Western sanctions.

Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin was presumed dead on Wednesday after a Wagner-affiliated private jet crashed in Russia's Tver region outside of Moscow. Prigozhin was listed as one of the passengers of the plane, according to Russia's civil aviation agency.

The warlord had mounted a failed coup against Russian President Vladimir Putin in June, before turning back his army after a deal was negotiated.

On Thursday, Putin expressed his condolences to the families of all ten passengers on board the crashed plane. At the time of writing, Prigozhin's family has not publicly responded to the condolences.

Prigozhin's family members — many of whom were subject to Western sanctions from 2022 onward — have had varying levels of involvement in Prigozhin's business empire, the Financial Times reported in April.

The full extent of Prigozhin's wealth is unknown, but after the June mutiny, Putin said Prigozhin's Wagner group had received 86 billion rubles, or around $1 billion from the Russian state between May 2022 and May 2023. And Prigozhin's catering business once earned him the moniker of "Putin's Chef," clinching state contracts estimated to be worth $3.1 billion.

The Wagner Group did not respond to a request for comment sent by Insider. There was no public contact or social media information available for the Prigozhins and their legal entities, according to Insider's review.

Here are the five Prigozhins you should know about.

Violetta Prigozhina, his mother, successfully contested sanctions from the EU

Prigozhin's mother, Violetta Prigozhina, was first added to the EU's sanctions list in 2022. In March, she won an appeal against those. Sanctions against her subsequently were lifted.

The EU's General Court stated in a press release released in March that the links between Violetta and her son were based "solely on their family relationship and is therefore not sufficient to justify her inclusion on the contested lists."

The 83-year-old opened an art gallery in 2018 in St. Petersburg, called "Colors of Life," according to the FT. Violetta declined to comment to the FT.

And in December last year, Prigozhina launched an art show, "Save, Don't Destroy," about the importance of preserving cultural monuments.

In an attached press release for the show, she wrote, "I would like to thank my whole family for creating the exhibition."

His wife Lyubov Prigozhina is a pharmacist-turned-businesswoman

Lyubov Prigozhina, Prigozhin's wife, is a pharmacist-turned-businesswoman and the owner of Agat LLC, a subsidiary of Concord Management and Consulting LLC, a company founded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, according to the Swiss and French sanctions lists. Lyubov was added to the sanctions list by the US Treasury Department and the EU in 2022.

Little is known about Lyubov, but the New Izvestia, a Russian news outlet, described her as a prolific businesswoman who owns several resorts, a chocolate factory, and a retail outlet called Chocolate Museum in St. Petersburg.

His son, Pavel Prigozhin, used to fight alongside the Wagner Group

Pavel Prigozhin fought alongside the Wagner Group in Syria and received Wagner's "black cross" for his military service, the FT reported, citing his father's social media posts.

Pavel was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department in 2022, which stated that he, alongside his mother and sister Polina, played "various roles in Prigozhin's business enterprise." The department did not disclose further details on how they were involved in his business empire.

As part of the announcement, the Treasury Department wrote that Pavel controlled three companies: Lakhta Park, OOO; Lakhta Park Premium, OOO; and Lakhta Plaza. It is unclear what these companies do.

In December, Pavel was at the center of speculation that his Telegram posts had given away the location of Wagner troops to a Ukrainian missile strike. Insider could not find any public acknowledgment from Pavel on these allegations.

Polina Prigozhina, one of his daughters, used to be a prolific equestrian

Polina Prigozhina and her younger sister, Veronika, have competed in hundreds of equestrian events outside of Russia — at the same time that their father, Yevgeny, was railing on Telegram against "traitors" among Russian elites that sent their children abroad — per the FT.

Polina, 31, has competed in over 600 contests and has won two of them, according to the International Federation for Equestrian Sports.

Her wedding at the Konstantinovsky Palace in St. Petersburg in 2015 was lavish, featuring streams of flowers cascading from the ceiling of the former imperial residence. Polina had complained at the time that it was difficult to secure so many flowers for the wedding, Bild German newspaper reported in June.

Polina was also named by the US Treasury Department as playing a role in Prigozhin's business empire.

His other daughter, Veronika Prigozhina, has not been subject to public sanctions from the US and EU

Very little is known about Veronika Prigozhina, who is thus far the only member of Prigozhin's immediate family not publicly known to be sanctioned by the US or EU, according to data from OpenSanctions.

The FT reported that Prigozhin seems to have taken advantage of this to evade sanctions, citing Russian corporate records that indicate Veronika became the owner of a company that controls a St. Petersburg hotel in 2022.

The 18-year-old has competed in over 100 equestrian contests, with her last appearance recorded by the federation made in February 2022, according to data from the International Federation for Equestrian Sports.

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