Putin’s Chef Cooks Up a Rebellion: The Wagner Group’s Unprecedented Uprising and Fall

All the trivia facts you need about the failed Wagner rebellion in Russia

In the world of trivia, we often find the most delicious facts in the most unexpected places. This time, we’re serving up a menu straight from Putin’s kitchen. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group and a man known as “Putin’s chef,” decided to swap his apron for a bulletproof vest and lead an armed rebellion against the Russian military. It did not end well.

#1 The Chef’s Special: A Dash of Wagner Rebellion

Yevgeny Prigozhin's Wagner Group Rebellion: A Trivial Twist on Russian History
Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Rebellion. Screenshot: Prigozhin Press Media

On June 24, 2023, Prigozhin claimed his forces came within 125 miles of Moscow before he decided to put the brakes on his advance. This wasn’t due to a sudden craving for borscht but rather the result of talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko brokered a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin to avoid bloodshed. Prigozhin agreed to halt his advance, return to his bases, and move to Belarus. On the other hand, his fighters would return to Ukraine, where they had previously fought on Russia’s side.

#2 The Secret Recipe: A Pinch of Treason

Vladimir Putin. Screenshot: Russian Pool
Vladimir Putin. Screenshot: Russian Pool

Prigozhin’s rebellion was seen as the biggest threat to Putin’s rule in decades. Putin, not one to take such things lightly, accused Prigozhin of treason and embarking on an armed rebellion. This is the same Prigozhin who was once a caterer and is now often called “Putin’s chef.” It seems the kitchen got too hot for Putin!

#3 The Main Course: A Hearty Serving of Unrest

The Wagner Group, known for its involvement in various conflicts worldwide, including in Africa and the Middle East, is no stranger to controversy. But this rebellion was a new dish on their menu. It was unprecedented in modern Russian history and described as Russia’s first armed coup attempt in decades.

#4 The Refresher: A Pudding Ending to a Bitter Rebellion

Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko
Photo: Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the end, the rebellion was halted abruptly. Prigozhin called off the advance and ordered his men back to base. He announced that he would move to Belarus and not face criminal charges. His fighters were promised amnesty. It seems like Prigozhin cooked up a rebellion and avoided the heat!

#5 The Chef’s Unexpected Flight Recipe

On August 23, 2023, exactly two months after the Wagner rebellion, Prigozhin’s private Embraer jet decided to play hide and seek with the ground. Spoiler alert: The ground won. The crash, north of Moscow, wasn’t just a loss for Russian cuisine. Along with Prigozhin, two other top Wagner officials, four bodyguards, and three crew members also bid adieu.

#6 Putin’s Condolences: A Side Dish of Speculation

The Kremlin, always up for a good conspiracy theory, hinted that maybe, just maybe, someone gave Prigozhin’s plane a gentle nudge. Putin, ever the gracious host, sent his condolences, describing Prigozhin as a “talented businessman” with a dash of “difficult fate” and a sprinkle of “serious life mistakes.” Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden, never one to miss out on a good roast, hinted that he wasn’t too surprised by the chef’s sudden exit.

#7 The Chef’s Last Supper: A Private Affair

Prigozhin’s final resting place? Porokhovskoye cemetery in St Petersburg. And in true VIP style, it was an exclusive, invite-only event. His grave, marked by a wooden cross, became a hotspot for followers to drop by with flowers, messages, and maybe even some secret recipes. Russian state television, however, decided this wasn’t prime-time material and gave it the same attention one would give overcooked pasta.

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