After what Putin’s done to the neighboring country of Ukraine, it’s hard to imagine someone even worse than him could be lurking from the shadows, but Russia’s always been full of surprises.
One of these individuals is the man often referred to as Putin’s “Chef,” Yevgeny Prigozhin, who just happens to be the chief of the Wagner Group army of mercenaries.
Putin’s “Chef,” Yevgeny Prigozhin, could be taking over soon
While a lot of prominent figures from Russia’s politics have broken off from Putin’s agenda, Yevgeny has continued to uphold it to the point where many are suspecting he could become a successor to the throne.
The head of "Wagner" PMC, Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, happened to be outside Bakhmut during Zelensky's fake visit to the town: "Dear Vladimir Aleksanrovich [Zelensky], if you haven't left already, I'd like to have a meeting." pic.twitter.com/xsl4e82owr
— Venik (@venik44) December 24, 2022
A man from the Russian opposition, Lyubov Sobol, said in an interview that Putin’s impending departure will leave the country in political turmoil; anyone with enough resolve might step up to take his place.
Prigozhin has demonstrated his dedication to the “cause” in Ukraine by heavily criticizing the failing military strategy Russia has employed in Ukraine, demanding that his Wagner Group forces receive better equipment.
He even went after the country’s Chief of Armed Forces, Valery Gerasimov, stating the troops are dying in vain, amidst a lack of supplies while he was sitting in his warm office.
Additionally, he’s the man behind the Internet Research Farm, an online group that conducts attacks on individuals across the globe.
Alcohol is evil
Drugs are evil
Women are good pic.twitter.com/SAEjZeGrcy
— Panagiotis (@Pan21212121) January 1, 2023
What’s the Chef cooking?
In fact, Prigozhin’s propaganda outlet is almost as potent as the Russian media Putin’s been using to spread his false narrative throughout the country.
In April this year, CIA chief Bill Burns reported that reliable sources have confirmed Putin’s circle of advisers narrowed, allowing Prigozhin’s influence to grow.
This has allowed him to move past the clashes he’d had with Putin’s old guard in the past and gain even more power through sheer numbers alone.
His nickname, “Chef” comes from the fact that he previously ran a catering business named Concord; although there’s little to indicate this man isn’t cooking up a devastating plan for Europe and the rest of the world.
Yevgeny Prigozhin visited Ukrainian prisoners of war with congratulations and tangerines.
“They are the same Slavs, they have the same New Year,” explained the founder of PMC Wagner. pic.twitter.com/prhEvzLv69
— Black Diamond (@blackdiammon) December 31, 2022
One of the Kremlin’s critics, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, spoke up against Prigozhin, claiming the mercenary chief is abusing the developing situation in Ukraine to find a spot he could settle in.
By doing so, he’s created more than a handful of enemies, which won’t mean a thing if he actually succeeds in taking Putin’s spot one day.
Even though that day isn’t likely to be in the near future, the very idea that someone much more bloodthirsty than Putin is waiting in the woodwork is concerning, to say the least.
A coughing fit isn’t enough to warrant he’ll be stepping down as president, but with so many eyeing his seat, he’s got a lot more on his plate to worry about.