Another eloquent proof of the Kremlin's direct connection with Wagner PMC
is Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is in fact a monopolist in the Russian market of the government military order in the fields of military meal service, cleaning, building and energy industries. Being Russian president's close ally, the businessman, often called "Putin's chef" and alleged to be the owner of the "troll factory", is the creator and inspirer of Wagner PMC
According to Fontanka
, in 2015-2016 Utkin and his deputy Troshev were seen travelling together with Prigozhin's security officers and were likely to work for units of Prigozhin-controlled group Concord
Recently, the media reported
that contracts for the production of a quarter of all gas and oil located on the Syrian territory recovered with Russia's help for Bashar al-Assad might be awarded to Prigozhin-associated LLC Yevro Polis
. In exchange, LLC Yevro Polis
would commit itself to recovering oil deposits and infrastructure facilities from ISIS militants and opponents of Assad's regime, and to protecting them thereafter. Interestingly, Wagner PMC
is among the candidates for providing protection to those deposits.
reports, the respective memorandum of intent was signed in December 2016, during the meeting of Syrian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ganev and Russian Energy Ministry Alexandr Novak. The memorandum was signed for a period of five years. The media
, referring to a source in the PMC, report that Prigozhin has been investing money into Wagner PMC
with a view to getting some dividends apart from profit of carrying out military acts. The source also said that it was Syrian oil which the "main emphasis" was made on.
"Now, Prigozhin receives big government orders [for carrying out military tasks on the frontline and protecting critical infrastructure]. However, there [in Syria] the Syrian government has already signed a five-year contract with one of Prigozhin's oil companies. A friend of mine works there," the source said. It also noted that the mentioned oil deposits lay in the central part of Syria.
Another source, close to Wagner
, told the media
that Prigozhin had been given all oil derricks in Syria. "Now they are looking for people to protect them," the source said.