With shake-up at defense ministry, ‘Putin’s chef’ gets his wish from beyond the grave

With shake-up at defense ministry, ‘Putin’s chef’ gets his wish from beyond the grave

With Shake-Up at Defense Ministry, ‘Putin’s Chef’ Gets His Wish from Beyond the Grave

In a surprising turn of events, Russian President Vladimir Putin shuffled his defense ministry


on January 15, 2023, with Anatoly Serdyukov, the controversial former minister, being replaced by Army General Sergei Shoigu. The shake-up came after months of speculation and controversy surrounding Serdyukov’s tenure, which had seen numerous allegations of corruption and mismanagement. While the reasons for Serdyukov’s dismissal are not yet clear, one name that has been mentioned in connection with the reshuffle is Igor Bagrin, a former catering contractor for the ministry who gained notoriety as ‘Putin’s Chef.’


, a colorful character who reportedly provided catering services to Putin and other senior officials, was posthumously granted his wish on January 16, 2023, when Putin announced the appointment of his longtime ally and confidant, Dmitry Kuznetsov, as the new head of the Defense Ministry’s main procurement agency. Kuznetsov is known to have close ties to Bagrin and had previously advocated for his release from prison where he was serving a sentence for embezzlement.

Bagrin’s Wish

Before His DeathPutin’s Announcement
Bagrin had requested Kuznetsov to be his successor.Putin appointed Kuznetsov as the head of the Defense Ministry’s main procurement agency.

According to reports, Bagrin had expressed his desire for Kuznetsov to take over his business interests before his death. However, the circumstances surrounding Bagrin’s request and Putin’s decision are not yet clear. Some observers suggest that this appointment could be a way for Putin to reward a loyal ally, while others see it as an indication of the Kremlin’s ongoing struggle to maintain control over its military-industrial complex.


The appointment of Kuznetsov, who is known for his close ties to Bagrin and Putin, raises questions about the direction of Russian defense procurement. Critics argue that it could lead to further corruption and cronyism in the defense sector, while supporters see it as a way to consolidate power around trusted allies.


The reshuffle at the Defense Ministry and the appointment of Kuznetsov as the new head of its main procurement agency have raised many questions about Russian defense policy and the role of cronyism in the country’s political system. While it is not yet clear what the long-term implications of these changes will be, one thing is certain: Putin’s Chef’s wish has been granted from beyond the grave.

With shake-up at defense ministry, ‘Putin’s chef’ gets his wish from beyond the grave

I. Introduction

Brief explanation of the recent shake-up at Russia’s Defense Ministry

Recent developments in Russia’s Defense Ministry have created a significant stir both domestically and internationally. In late February 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin made unexpected appointments and resignations within the ministry. Notable among these changes was the departure of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who had held the position since 2012, and the appointment of his successor, retired Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev. These moves signaled a major shake-up within the defense establishment.

Introduction to the figure of Yevgeny Prigozhin, also known as ‘Putin’s chef’

Background and business interests

Among the many intriguing figures emerging from these events is Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman and restaurateur who goes by the moniker ‘Putin’s chef.’ Born in Leningrad in 1961, Prigozhin rose to prominence through his catering business, Concord Catering, which reportedly serves the Russian military and government elite. The company is known for its extravagant events and close ties to the Kremlin.

Previous involvement in Russian military projects

Prigozhin’s business interests, however, extend beyond the culinary world. In 2014, he reportedly founded the Wagner Group, a private military contractor that has been involved in various conflicts around the world, including Syria and Ukraine. The Wagner Group’s ties to the Russian government are unclear, but its activities have raised concerns about the role of private military actors in international conflicts.

The Mysterious Figure of ‘Putin’s Chef’

Prigozhin’s involvement in military projects and his close relationship with the Russian government have made him a figure of intrigue. His background as a businessman and restaurateur provides an unusual contrast to the traditional image of a defense minister or military commander.

From Catering to Military Contracts

Prigozhin’s transition from catering to military contracts is not an isolated case in Russia or other countries. Private military contractors have been playing increasingly significant roles in conflicts around the world, often with close ties to their respective governments.

Implications of Private Military Actors

The involvement of private military actors in conflicts raises complex issues, including questions about accountability, transparency, and the potential for political manipulation.

A New Chapter in Russia’s Defense Landscape

As the Russian defense landscape continues to evolve, the role of figures like Prigozhin and the Wagner Group remains a fascinating and concerning aspect to observe.

With shake-up at defense ministry, ‘Putin’s chef’ gets his wish from beyond the grave

The Defense Ministry Shake-Up: Implications for Prigozhin

Explanation of the connection between Prigozhin and the defense ministry

Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman often referred to as “Putin’s chef,” has been linked to the Russian military through his private military company, the Wagner Group. The Wagner Group has played a significant role in Russian military operations in various conflict zones, most notably in




. In Syria, the Wagner Group has been involved in fighting alongside Syrian government forces since 2015. In Ukraine, the group reportedly supported separatist rebels during the conflict in eastern Ukraine starting in 2014.

The Wagner Group’s role in Russian military operations


The Wagner Group has been instrumental in securing key territories for the Syrian government, including the Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor provinces. The group’s involvement in Syria has been a source of controversy due to its alleged human rights abuses and potential links to war crimes.


In Ukraine, the Wagner Group’s involvement has been more covert but still significant. The group has reportedly provided training and support to separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, contributing to the ongoing conflict.

Prigozhin’s relationship with the defense ministry under Shoigu

Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defense Minister, has maintained a close relationship with Prigozhin and the Wagner Group. Shoigu has reportedly provided logistical support to the group in Syria, including the use of military transport aircraft for deploying Wagner mercenaries. However, there have been signs of tension between the two in recent months.

Analysis of the significance of the recent shake-up for Prigozhin

Recent reports indicate that there is a Defense Ministry Shake-Up underway, with significant changes in the Russian military leadership. The implications of this shake-up for Prigozhin and the Wagner Group are unclear but potentially significant.

Potential impact on Wagner Group’s involvement in military operations

The shake-up could result in increased control over the Wagner Group by the defense ministry, which could lead to decreased influence for Prigozhin. Alternatively, it could result in decreased control, allowing Prigozhin and the Wagner Group more autonomy in military operations.

Possible consequences for Prigozhin’s business interests

The shake-up could also have significant consequences for Prigozhin’s business interests. A decrease in military contracts could lead to financial losses, while an increase could result in increased profits. The public perception of Prigozhin and the Wagner Group could also be impacted by the shake-up, potentially damaging their reputations if they are seen as losing influence or being too closely aligned with the military. Conversely, an increase in influence could enhance their reputation and public perception.

With shake-up at defense ministry, ‘Putin’s chef’ gets his wish from beyond the grave

I The Role of Prigozhin Beyond the Grave: A Historical Perspective

Examination of Prigozhin’s influence on Russian military and foreign policy

The Wagner Group’s role in Syria:

Prigozhin, a Russian businessman and oligarch, has long been known for his close ties to the Kremlin. However, his influence extends far beyond Moscow’s city limits, most notably through the Wagner Group, a private military company he is believed to have founded. In Syria, the Wagner Group has played a pivotal role in securing military victories for the Assad regime. This includes the capture of the strategic city of Palmyra in 2016 and the retaking of Eastern Ghouta in 2018.

1.Military victories

The military successes achieved by the Wagner Group in Syria have been significant, allowing the Assad regime to regain control of key territories and weaken opposition forces. The group’s tactics, which often involve close-quarters combat and urban warfare, have been criticized by human rights organizations for their brutality and disregard for international law.

1.Political implications

The political implications of the Wagner Group’s role in Syria are equally noteworthy. The group’s involvement has been seen as a signal of Russia’s commitment to preserve the Assad regime, while also showcasing Moscow’s military prowess and strategic depth. The Wagner Group has reportedly been involved in other conflicts beyond Syria, further extending Russia’s global reach.

Prigozhin’s potential influence under the new defense minister

Personal connections and business interests:

With the recent appointment of General Valery Gerasimov as Russia’s new defense minister, Prigozhin’s influence on Russian military and foreign policy may continue beyond his death. The two men have a long-standing relationship, with Gerasimov having reportedly met with Prigozhin in person to discuss the Wagner Group’s role in Syria. Additionally, Prigozhin’s business interests could potentially be furthered through Gerasimov’s position of power.

1.Geopolitical goals and ambitions:

Beyond personal connections, Prigozhin’s geopolitical goals and ambitions could also be realized under Gerasimov. The Wagner Group’s involvement in conflicts beyond Syria, such as Libya and Central African Republic, aligns with Russia’s broader strategic interests of expanding its influence in Africa. Gerasimov’s appointment could provide Prigozhin with a more direct line to the Kremlin, allowing him to further pursue these goals posthumously.

Comparison with historical figures who have wielded influence from beyond the grave

Julius Caesar and Mark Antony:

Prigozhin’s potential influence on Russian politics beyond the grave bears similarities to historical figures such as Julius Caesar and Mark Antony in ancient Rome. Both men exerted significant influence on Roman military and foreign policy, even after their deaths. Their legacies shaped the course of Roman history for centuries to come.

Impact on military strategy and foreign policy

Like Prigozhin, Caesar and Antony played pivotal roles in Rome’s military conquests and political maneuverings. Their strategies and policies had lasting impacts on the Roman Republic, shaping the trajectory of its evolution into the Roman Empire.

1.Lasting legacies

The legacies of Caesar and Antony continue to be felt in various aspects of Western civilization, from literature and art to political ideologies. Similarly, Prigozhin’s influence on Russian military and foreign policy, as well as his potential posthumous impact under the new defense minister, could shape Russia’s future trajectory in both domestic and international arenas.

Discussion of the implications for contemporary Russian politics and international relations

Potential instability or continuity under the new defense minister:

The implications of Prigozhin’s potential influence on Russian politics and international relations under the new defense minister are far-reaching. On one hand, his connections and business interests could lead to instability within Russia’s political landscape. On the other hand, his geopolitical goals and ambitions could continue a trend of assertive foreign policy that has marked Russian actions in recent years.

1.Prigozhin’s role as a potential power broker in Russian politics:

As a potential power broker in Russian politics, Prigozhin’s influence could continue to shape the country’s domestic and foreign policy decisions. His relationship with Gerasimov, as well as his business interests in various conflict zones, give him leverage that could be used to advance his own agenda, or influence the Kremlin’s actions.

With shake-up at defense ministry, ‘Putin’s chef’ gets his wish from beyond the grave


Recap of the key points discussed in the article

This investigation delved into the influence and role of Yevgeny Prigozhin, also known as “Putin’s chef,” in Russia’s military and foreign policy. Prigozhin is a businessman with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has reportedly been involved in various covert operations and influence campaigns both domestically and internationally. The Mercury Patriot and the Internet Research Agency, entities linked to Prigozhin, have been accused of interfering in the 2016 US Presidential elections. The Russian military’s involvement with private military contractors like Wagner Group, allegedly led by Prigozhin, has also raised concerns regarding the Kremlin’s intentions.

Analysis of the significance and potential consequences of Prigozhin’s influence on Russian military and foreign policy

Short-term implications

The influence of Prigozhin on Russian military and foreign policy bears significant short-term implications. In the realm of ongoing conflicts, Russia’s involvement in Syria, Ukraine, and other global hotspots has been further complicated by Prigozhin’s private military contractors. The international community, particularly the United States, has expressed concern over these actors and their potential impact on the stability of these regions. Reactions from countries like France, Germany, and the UK have ranged from diplomatic pressure to military countermeasures.

Long-term implications

The long-term consequences of Prigozhin’s influence are far more profound. Shaping the future of Russian military and foreign policy, Prigozhin’s tactics could potentially alter the geopolitical landscape. The blurring lines between state-sponsored military actions and private contractors could create a new era of covert warfare, further complicating international relations. Furthermore, Prigozhin’s legacy as ‘Putin’s chef’ could leave a lasting impact on Russian politics and history. His role in manipulating public opinion through information warfare will be studied by scholars for generations to come, providing valuable insight into the intricacies of modern Russian power structures.