On the morning of June 24, the Fontanka.ru publication reported that in St. Petersburg, in the courtyard of house No. 4 on Akademichesky Lane, law enforcement officers found office boxes in a parked white Gazelle, in which money was lying. It is noted that the security forces became interested in the van during searches at the Trezzini Hotel, which is associated with Yevgeny Prigozhin. Employees began to check the car for explosives and found boxes of cash.
Later, the correspondent of the publication reported that about 4 billion rubles were found in the boxes.
Later, a Telegram channel associated with Prigozhin published an audio recording in which the founder of the Wagner PMC confirms that the cash found in the Gazelle in the courtyard of the Trezzini Hotel belongs to his structures.
“I have found more than one Gazelle. A Gazelle and two buses were found with me, in which there was money allocated for the issuance of wages, the so-called compensations “Cargo 200” and other issues, ”said Prigozhin.
According to him, over the past 10 years PMC “Wagner” has been using exclusively cash in circulation, “which is written in the contract.”
“When we were doing work in Africa, in Ukraine and in other countries. When America was a nightmare, everyone was satisfied with cash, and now they have come with searches. It’s OK. The cash was indeed found,”
Prigozhin started his entrepreneurial activity in the 1990s. As Forbes wrote, Prigozhin founded a chain selling hot dogs in Leningrad, and then in St. Petersburg he was the manager of the Contrast supermarket chain. In 1995 he opened the wine club bar-shop. In December 1996, with partners, he opened the first elite restaurant in St. Petersburg “Old Customs” in the building of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
In 1998, the businessman opened the New Island restaurant, where, according to Forbes, the mayor of the city Anatoly Sobchak came. In the same place in 2001, a dinner was held between the presidents of Russia and France, Vladimir Putin and Jacques Chirac. In the same restaurant, Putin received US President George W. Bush. From 2002 to 2012, Prigozhin developed the fast food chain “Damn! Donalds.
Prigozhin was also engaged in the supply of food to Moscow schools, sanatoriums of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and ran a construction business. In 2016, RBC wrote that the Concord food plant began serving metropolitan schools in 2011. In 2015, RBC notes, the company got 21% of this market during the auction, the rest of the schools were served by Shkolnik-YUZ, Moscow Schoolchild, Preschool Nutrition Plant (KDP) and Vito-1. RBC also found out that the companies “Moscow Schoolboy”, “Shkolnik – YuZ” and KDP are interconnected – they are registered at the same address in Moscow: st. Anchornaya, 6, and the beneficiary of all three companies until the summer of 2015 was Pavel Panfilov. In addition, the interviewed market participants told RBC that in the summer of 2015 Panfilov’s assets came under the control of Concorde. Thus, since the summer of 2015, Prigozhin’s Concord has actually become a monopolist in the Moscow school food market.
RBC also wrote that, allegedly associated with Prigozhin, Restaurant Service Plus, Mercury, Main Line and SPB Kulinaria won 12 out of 20 auctions of the Russian Ministry of Defense for the supply of food to the military in 2014-2016. sanatoriums. RBC also reported that companies associated with Concord won tenders worth 10.3 billion rubles from the end of 2014 to mid-2015. for cleaning in the barracks and educational institutions of the Ministry of Defense.
In addition, the website of the Concord Management and Consulting company indicates that the organization owns several restaurants in St. Italian cuisine “Polenta”, etc.) and Moscow (restaurant-boat River Palace, etc.).
“A subdivision of the Concord Catering company serves banquets in the Kremlin,” the website says.
In 2018, the Kommersant newspaper, citing participants in the construction market, wrote that structures close to Prigozhin would be involved in the construction of the residence of the Supreme Court in St. Petersburg.
On the evening of June 23, Prigozhin announced that the RF Ministry of Defense had struck at the rear units of the Wagner, and announced a “march of justice.”
The Ministry of Defense stated that the reports spread on behalf of Prigozhin about “the Russian Defense Ministry striking at the rear camps of PMC Wagner” are untrue and are an informational provocation. The FSB called Prigozhin’s statements an “information provocation”. The department also opened a criminal case “on the fact of calling for an armed rebellion.” Later, the Prosecutor General’s Office reported that the FSB Investigation Department had opened a case against Prigozhin under Article 279 of the Criminal Code for organizing an armed rebellion.
On the morning of June 24, President Putin made a video message, where he stated that the actions of Wagner were regarded as a betrayal and a “stab in the back.” The support of the president was announced to the State Duma and the Federation Council, as well as the heads of a number of regions.
At the moment, the forces of PMC “Wagner” are in Rostov-on-Don and other regions, units of a private military organization have occupied the headquarters building of the Southern Military District and several other buildings. Chechen divisions of “Akhmat” moved into the city. Putin called the situation in Rostov-on-Don difficult, saying that the work of civil and military authorities in connection with an attempted “military rebellion” in the city was “virtually blocked.”
Voronezh Governor Alexander Gusev reported on “operational combat measures” in the region. The governor of the Lipetsk region, Igor Artamonov, said that Wagner equipment is moving around the region.
The Kaluga region temporarily restricted car traffic on the roads of the region in the territories bordering the Bryansk, Oryol, Tula, and Smolensk regions.
A counter-terrorist operation regime has been introduced in Moscow, the Moscow and Voronezh regions.