Prigozhin’s father’s capital
The recently deceased owner of Wagner PMC, it turns out, even before the start of a special military operation, he registered his multibillion-dollar real estate for children
Pavel got Lakhta Plaza, Lakhta Park and Lakhta Park Premium. Pauline is the mansion of the Prince of Oldenburg on Kamenny Island, which will be “restored” into a hotel with 21 rooms. The Red Stars Hotel 4 *, located near the Mariinsky Theater and the River Palace Hotel on Vasilyevsky Island, are recorded on Veronica …
Yevgeny Prigozhin almost always had a rare love for children. Except, perhaps, for those long years of youth that he spent in places not so remote. And even his eldest daughter, born out of wedlock from a woman unknown to us, bathed in the love of her father, and after his death she became the owner of a historic mansion in the center of St. Petersburg.
… Just as a seemingly disgusting caterpillar turns into a swallowtail fluttering over a flower, so sometimes a respectable Jewish family man turns out of an inveterate criminal. Perhaps Prigogine thought of such metamorphoses when he wrote the book “Indraguzik” with his children. And of course, there is also a photograph of a happy family in this book: a former criminal dad, a mother named Lyubov, as well as 10-year-old daughter Polina and 4-year-old son Pavel, whose names as co-authors are placed on the cover (the youngest daughter Veronika was born in 2005 year after the publication of the book).
What is this book about? About how “the next morning Big Indraguzik went to say goodbye to Little Indraguzik, who remained in his native Indraguzia with his king Indraguz …”. “The first book is the world of my childhood,” Prigogine once said and added: in the second I am going to describe the adventures of Indraguzik in the modern world. And one more thing – our Indraguzik in this book helped the king and saved the kingdom, in the future book he must do something heroic. (Prigozhin never wrote the second book, but he himself became a hero three times: Russia, the DPR and the LPR).
… By 2002, when Indraguzik was published, someone had already deleted the data on the criminal record of the father-criminal from the database of the St. “Range”.
Relatively useful can be considered the data that Prigozhin was in the field of view of the 7th department of the RUOP (economic crimes) and that his registration card was “corrected” in March 2000.
Evgeny Prigozhin, the real author of Indraguzikov, and a family photo from the book
However, St. Petersburg journalists found the verdict of the Zhdanovsky District Court of Leningrad dated October 6, 1981. This document, in my opinion, can be considered an afterword to the book “Indraguzik”, written, however, not in the genre of a children’s fairy tale, but in the style of hard non-fiction. And if “Indraguzik” is Prigozhin’s “world of childhood”, then the court verdict is his “world of youth”.
“On March 20, 1980, in the evening, Bushman, Prigozhin, Kopaev and Makeko were in the Ocean restaurant,” the judge describes a real event in clerical language. – Leaving the restaurant at about 24 hours, they met a previously unfamiliar Queen. Prigogine offered to take away her property. Prigogine and the others agreed with this. After that they caught up with the Queen at the house 7 on the street. M. Zheleznyak, where Prigozhin and Makeko approached the Queen, and Makeko, in order to distract the Queen, asked her for a cigarette. When the Queen opened her handbag, Prigozhin grabbed her by the neck from behind and began to choke her, while Makeko threatened the Queen with a knife and helped drag the Queen away from the road. Prigozhin continued to choke the Queen until she lost consciousness, after which Bushman removed her boots, one of which he handed over to Kopaev, and Prigozhin and Makeko removed gold earrings worth 50 rubles from the victim. With the stolen property, everyone fled the scene of the crime.”
Prigozhin was found guilty under the articles of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR “theft”, “fraud”, “involvement of a minor in criminal activity”, “robbery” and sentenced to 12 years in prison, adding a previously unserved sentence. In total – 13 years in a high-security colony without exile and confiscation of property.
Prigozhin’s registration card in the RUOP database and a fragment of the verdict
THE FIRST CHILD OF UNKNOWN LOVE AND THE FIRST MILLION
Prigozhin was released ahead of schedule in 1990 and returned to his native city on the Neva. At that time, his stepfather Samuil Zharkoy and his friend Herman Sheyzon had already opened a network of trade stalls and fast food outlets under the general name Sky CJSC. So the former convict started his first legal business selling hot dogs. “The mustard for hot dogs was kneaded right in my apartment … I had to pay the bandits a hundred dollars from each stall,” Prigozhin later said.
The eldest daughter Polina was born two years after her release, in 1992. We found out that Polina’s biological mother is a certain Elena Alekseevna Fominykh, and not her legal wife Lyubov Valentinovna Prigozhina, the happy mother of the family in the photo in the book Indraguzik. However, everything happens in life.
Registration cards in 1996 of Yevgeny Prigozhin and his wife Lyubov Prigozhina (left), registration card of Polina Prigozhina
It turns out that in 1996, the future father of Indraguzikov, together with his young wife Lyuba (b. 1970), was registered in St. Petersburg on Zheleznovodskaya Street, in the apartment of his father-in-law Valentin Kryazhev (b. 1932). Polina (born in 1992) officially lived on Kultury Street with her single mother Elena Fominykh (born in 1963), sister Marina Fominykh (born in 1984) and brother Alexei Fominykh (born in 1988) [других следов семьи Фоминых обнаружить не удалось]. Prigozhin’s mother Violetta Kirovna (b. 1939) and his stepfather Samuil Fridmanovich Zharkoy (b. 1932) lived on Pushkinskaya Street.
Registration card of Prigozhin’s mother (right)
… A chance meeting with a childhood friend Boris Spektor, a former classmate (Prigozhin graduated from a sports boarding school No. 62, now it is an Olympic reserve college No. 1), raised the family business several steps at once. Prigozhin becomes a co-founder of the firm “Contrast Consulting”, which owned the then popular network of private food stores “Contrast”. A friend of the family, Herman Sheyson, was appointed the general director of this company. Spector himself switched to the gambling business, which was controlled by the well-known mobster Mikhail Mirilashvili, president of the St. Petersburg branch of the Russian Jewish Congress.
Then Prigogine decides to go into the restaurant business: in December 1996, he opens the Old Customs restaurant, which became the first truly elite restaurant in St. Petersburg. Two or three years later, he opens three more restaurants – the Jewish “Seven Forty”, “Stroganov Dvor” and “Russian Kitsch”. For the legal registration of restaurant activities, the Concord company was created.
Account card LLC “Contrast Consulting”
A real golden rain fell on Prigozhin when the Russian Ministry of Defense began to conclude billion-dollar contracts with Concorde for the food of military personnel, which until 2010 was provided by army chefs. Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, a former director of a St. Petersburg furniture store, outsourced military kitchens. Catering companies have begun to do this, there is practically no need for investments for such a market: to hire employees for military units, purchase food and cook quality food on time – that’s the whole business.
Prigozhin walked a winding road to the Ministry of Defense. Having opened the Cabinet 1237 restaurant in the Government House on Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment in Moscow, Concord agreed to organize several catering outlets at the General Staff of the Ministry of Defense – from canteens to the personal restaurant of the minister and his deputies. (I would have known Shoigu ten years ago that the one to whom he gave all the kitchens of the Russian army would go in June 2023 at the head of several thousand armed thugs to liquidate him.)
Account card of CJSC “Sky”
Until the last days, the flagship firm of the Prigozhin family business was Concord Management and Consulting, despite the relatively small balance of half a billion rubles. Prigozhin is the CEO of this company and the only founder, and until 2017, his mother Violetta Prigozhina was among the co-founders of Concorde. Curiously, less than six months since November 2017, this family organization has been led by Dmitry Utkin, a professional commando better known by his call sign “Wagner”.
Account card LLC “Concord”
The firm that actually laid the golden eggs for the Prigozhin family is LLC “Combine Nutrition”. In 2022, the revenue of this enterprise amounted to 5 billion rubles. Previously, its ultimate owners were the son and mother, but at the end of 2019, Kombinat officially changed its owner to Development Corporation JSC.
In the direct ownership of Prigozhin were also Concord M LLC (revenue of about 800 million rubles), Concord Catering LLC with zero finances, Ritm LLC (property management and rental, balance of 8 million rubles) and Aurum LLC – a film studio with a balance of 4.3 billion rubles.
In total, the Prigozhin holding “Concorde” rendered services to the state in the amount of 845 billion rubles. For almost two decades, military-kitchen contracts were for Prigozhin an almost inexhaustible source for the family business, which was and still is based on real estate.
And if food contracts could be carried out through different lining companies, then family capital required strict legal registration, since it was a matter of inheritance rights. Apparently for this reason, about three years ago, even before the start of a special military operation, Prigozhin began to change the official ownership structure of his multibillion-dollar family business.
OUT OF THE SHADOW OF RETAIL
As it turned out quite recently, in November 2022, Prigozhin becomes the director of Retail JSC with the right to sign without a power of attorney. Last year, the balance of this company was 4.3 billion rubles. Created in June 2019, Retail was the developer of a complex of buildings on Zolnaya Street in the Nevsky District under the general name PMC Wagner Center.
The complex of buildings “PMC Wagner Center”. And the account card of JSC “Retail”
The involvement of this company in Prigozhin’s business empire quite recently had to be spoken of only as an assumption. Neither the founder, Ekaterina Starikova, nor the general director, Vladimir Kalyaev, appeared outwardly to be in an obvious way associated with Prigozhin.
However, the day before he publicly outlined his position on the scandal with the commissioning of the center, an entry appeared in the Unified State Register of Legal Entities stating that Prigozhin Evgeny Viktorovich received the right to “act without a power of attorney independently of other persons” – as a director of Retail JSC . This unexpected “coming out” of Prigozhin not only exposed the conflict between him and the city authorities of St. Petersburg, but also directly pointed out what the real priorities of this overactive businessman are.
The history of this complex of buildings on Zolnaya Street is rather complicated. At the end of 2018, this property was registered with Rosreestr as an object of construction in progress with a cadastral value of 1.3 billion rubles. Its owner was the structures of the Rosstroyinvest holding, whose chairman of the board Igor Kreslavsky in January 2020 took over as head of the city construction committee. And in December 2019, a deal was closed for the sale of this unfinished building. The little-known JSC “Retail” on the market became the new owner. Gosstroynadzor refused to give Retail permission to put into operation the already solemnly opened Wagner Center, which suddenly turned out to be one floor higher and 6,500 sq. meters wider than previously thought. It was then that the formidable Prigogine appeared out of the shadows.
FAMILY PROPERTY IS STRONG
… Back in 2016, Prigozhin’s Concord Management and Consulting put up for sale apartments in the Lakhta Plaza complex. This complex is adjacent to the Lakhta Center skyscraper, the headquarters of Gazprom. (Until 2010, this territory was part of the boundaries of the 300th Anniversary Park.) In June 2014, the Shaltai-Boltai hacker group posted Prigozhin’s correspondence with State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin. The stolnik of the Ministry of Defense asked not to adopt a bill prohibiting the construction of buildings higher than 27 meters. The developer asked to raise the norm to 80-120 meters, but nevertheless, Concorde was not allowed to deviate from the norms.
Panorama of Lakhta Plaza and advertising of Lakhta Park
And then one fine day, November 30, 2020, 22-year-old Pavel Prigozhin becomes the sole owner of three large companies at once, the owners of St. Petersburg super-prestigious real estate – Lakhta Plaza, Lakhta Park and Lakhta Park Premium.
For the first time, his name appeared in the media four years earlier, in 2016, when the young man got into a serious accident. Then Prigozhin Jr., on an elite Mercedes Gelandewagen SUV worth 12 million rubles, rammed a BMW 5-series car. Moreover, Gelandewagen was bought just two days before the accident. As a result of the accident, both the passenger of the BMW and Pavel himself were injured.
Account cards of Lakhta Plaza LLC (above), Lakhta Park LLC and Lakhta Park Premium LLC (below)
However, the enormous responsibility entrusted to this young man somehow does not align with what Prigozhin himself said in the fall of 2022: “Paul did military service at the age of 18. A month after its graduation, he went to war in Syria. “Since then, he has been and is constantly in hot spots as part of the Wagner PMC, where he received his first Black Cross.”
In 2022, it also turned out that the eldest daughter Polina became the owner of the mansion of the Prince of Oldenburg on Kamenny Island, this is a non-residential building with an area of 1600 square meters. meters at emb. Malaya Nevka, house 11, lit. A, and a plot under it with an area of 0.35 hectares. In the spring of 2021, Glavgosexpertiza agreed on a project to restore the dacha of Prince Oldenburgsky into a hotel with 21 rooms.
Mansion of the Prince of Oldenburg on Kamenny Island – owned by Polina Prigozhina
In the fall of 2022, when she turned 17, Prigozhin’s youngest daughter Veronika purchased the luxurious Red Stars Hotel 4*. “A stylish and dynamic hotel,” advertised on the hotel website, “is located in one of the most picturesque corners of the city on the Neva near the Mariinsky Theater in its historical center. The hotel has 54 rooms of various categories from Comfort to Suite…”.
In addition, back in 2021, it was discovered that the River Palace hotel on Vasilyevsky Island appeared in the ownership of Prigozhin Sr., which then allegedly became the property of Veronika. (The area of the River Palace is 16.4 thousand square meters, and its cost is 1.9 billion rubles.) Also, Veronika, according to media reports, owns a cottage in the prestigious village near St. Petersburg “Northern Versailles”.
Almost nothing was known about Veronica until this year, when three videos under the title “Dubai Diary” hit the Web. The youngest takes pictures of herself on a smartphone as she rests in the United Arab Emirates. In one of the videos, Veronika, with a somewhat puffy face, poses questions of a downright Hamlet sound, for example: “The first thing that comes to mind is that I’m kind of happy that I get to know everyone here, fuck at night. On the other hand, I understand, but nah … it is necessary. I’m thinking: am I a whore or not a whore? In general, nah … should I be a whore? Do I like it or don’t I like it?”
Veronica and Pavel Prigogine and his wife
And the mother of the family, Lyubov Prigozhina, lives in chocolate, and in the literal sense of the word. In May 2023, she became the sole owner of Chocolate Museum LLC, this company owns a chain of boutiques in Moscow and St. Petersburg and is engaged in the manufacture of chocolate products to order. At the Chocolate Museum, you can order edible sculptures, which, as a rule, are in demand at corporate parties.
The sweetness of being Prigozhin’s wife is incredibly enhanced by the fact that she still fully owns the legendary establishment located on Nevsky Prospekt – the shop of the Eliseev merchants. This store is distinguished not only by its glorious history and wide popularity, but also by commercial success. So, last year, the revenue of the Eliseevsky store, according to financial reports, amounted to 122.6 million, and net profit – 73.2 million rubles.
REVOLT IN THE MILITARY FIELD KITCHEN
Thus, by the beginning of 2023, Yevgeny Prigozhin had registered almost all of his billion-dollar real estate for heirs. Perhaps two or three years ago, he understood that a break in relations and a clash with the Russian Ministry of Defense was inevitable. And he did everything to secure the family property as much as possible. He hoped that in the event of the most violent conflict, the hands of the authorities would not be able to reach the legally protected property of his family members.
Ceremonial costume of Yevgeny Prigozhin and his make-up masks
His intuition did not let him down: in early June, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu signed an order that all volunteers sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense strictly until July 1, 2023. Prigozhin decides that this order is directed specifically against Wagner PMC. A few months earlier, the chief Wagnerian had stated that Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov were creating an artificial shortage of ammunition for PMCs.
Prigozhin considered that he had been presented with a “black mark”, and only a few days remained for his military company to exist. And then he, in his words, “freaked out”, went into open conflict with the state machine. Most likely, he didn’t freak out, but, speaking the language of thieves, he decided to “take on a show off”, realizing that even in the worst card scenario he would keep his main stash.
… On the night of June 24, the forces of PMC “Wagner” captured the headquarters of the Southern Military District in Rostov-on-Don … Well, you know the rest. On August 23, Yevgeny Prigozhin died in a plane crash, leaving his children orphaned billionaires.