July 24, 2024

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This is how Wagner boss Prigozhin’s media empire worked – news

This is how Wagner boss Prigozhin’s media empire worked – news

A former employee of the “Federal News Agency” provides insights into the inner workings of the media empire and tells how he experienced Boss Wagner.

It has been a year since the forces of the Russian mercenary group Wagner marched on Moscow in an armed uprising. The uprising was surprisingly ended by a deal – Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin withdrew his men and was initially allowed to return to Belarus with impunity.

But some time later, Prigozhin died in a plane crash that remains unexplained to this day, and his company and media empire were destroyed. But how did this media empire function and how did Prigozhin’s staff experience the upheaval? We spoke to someone who worked at Prigozhin’s news agency in St. Petersburg.

“Prygozhin was a strict boss”

The meeting takes place in a crowded bar on the St. Petersburg nightlife strip. Dima, as we call him, prefers complete anonymity. However, Radio SRF was able to see documents confirming his identity and that he worked for Prigozhin’s news site “Federal News Agency”.

“I met Prigozhin – the boss – a few times when he came to our editorial office. He came as a tough fighter and a very intelligent man. And he was a strict boss: the first time he told me how to do my job. The second time he beat me and I was a Said to be a complete idiot.

Purana:

Yevgeny Prigogine: Former petty criminal from Petersburg turned hard man for the Kremlin.

IMAGO/UPI Photo

Yevgeny Prigozhin used his media outlets, such as the Federal News Agency, to expand his influence, Dima says. Then, in 2022, Russia launched its war of aggression against Ukraine. “On the first day, we were given a booklet on how we should behave as Russian media. The most important thing: Russia is not attacking. Russia is conducting a special operation to protect the people of Donbass.

The upheaval was shocking

When the attack on Kiev was called off, Wagner was also stationed in Ukraine. “Soon we felt the jealousy of the Ministry of Defense. Other Russian media were not allowed to write about us. That’s why Prigozhin began to comment on everything himself. Prigozhin criticized Wagner for not having enough ammunition. His men were dying while officers sat in expensive clubs.

Tanks from the Wagner Group stand on a street.

Purana:

On June 23 and 24, 2023, Brigoshan’s uprising kept Russia on edge for about 24 hours.

IMAGO / SNA

In June 2023, the conflict with the Ministry of Defense resulted in what Prigozhin called the “March of Justice”. According to Dima, Prigozhin’s sole purpose with the rebellion was to force the resignation of the leadership of the Ministry of Defense. But even he was shocked by the rise. “I don’t know anything about it. But it seems my supervisor was in the picture. He told me the boss was going to talk to someone somewhere.”

My boss is not a good person, he is a horrible person. But he is real. He was a leader.

When rebellion broke out and Prigozhin and his men were called “traitors” on Russian state television, Dima took his family to the countryside and told them not to mention the name “Wagner”. A week later, Prigozhin and his mercenaries retreated to Belarus. Dima was summoned to the office of the news agency with his colleagues. They received their last pay and were released; The company was dissolved.

Dima continues to support Prigozhin. “My boss was not a nice person, he was a horrible person. But he was real. He was a leader.”

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