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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
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
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
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.
We cross-checked our facts about the failed Wagner rebellion in Russia with the world’s most trusted news providers.
- AP News: Wagner Group chief will move to Belarus after his rebellious march challenged Putin
- AP News: Russian mercenary leaders exile ends revolt but leaves questions about Putin’s power
- BBC News: Wagner Chief’s 24 Hours of Chaos in Russia
- The New York Times: Short-Lived Wagner rebellion in Russia Sheds Light on Putin’s Hold on Power
- The New York Times: How a Rebellion in Russia Unfolded Over 36 Hours
- The Guardian: Wagner boss to leave Russia as reports say US spy agencies picked up signs of planned uprising days ago
- The Guardian: Russia-Ukraine war live: Kremlin says Prigozhin plane crash may have been caused deliberately
- The Guardian: Funeral of Yevgeny Prigozhin held in ‘closed format’ in St Petersburg
- Reuters: Rebel Russian mercenaries return to base under deal ending advance on Moscow
- Reuters: At the grave of Russia’s Prigozhin, followers hail a warrior
- Reuters: Kremlin says Prigozhin plane may have been downed on purpose
We Stand with Ukraine
It seems everybody these days has publicly declared their position on the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine. We stand with Ukraine and its people, fighting against military forces attacking civilians. We salute Ukraine’s heroic battle for democracy as we stand with every nation fighting against tyranny and for human rights. Our empathy extends to the Russian people, Belarusians, and all who suffer under oppressive governments, including soldiers forced to die in the name of their leaders. We also side with the truth, so here’s a quick list of reliable sources on the conflict.