Russian entrepreneur Yevgeny Prigozhin is known as “Putin’s cook” because his gastro company provides food for the Moscow regime. Because the founder of the mercenary group Wagner allegedly supplied the Russian army with bad, spoiled and even infectious food, the Ministry of Defense has sued him hundreds of times in the past.
Prigozhin’s companies not only supply food, but also prepare dishes and deliver them directly to the military units. According to “Moshem Objasnit”, inspectors “regularly find violations”. These are, for example, insufficient quantities delivered, expired products or the exchange of products with replacement products of lesser quality. Also, fecal germs have been found in food, cooks work without health certificates or violations in storage, according to the independent Russian Telegram channel “Moshem Objasnit” (engl. “We can explain”).
560 lawsuits in one year
Since the beginning of the offensive war against Ukraine, the logistical demands on army supplies have increased. As a result, more irregularities were discovered and more lawsuits were filed in the courts. The procurement department of the Russian Ministry of Defense has filed 560 lawsuits against companies belonging to “Putin’s Koch” in 2022, the medium reports. In total, more than 107 million rubles (about 1.4 million euros) in damages are being sought – a record number of lawsuits against a utility company in one year.
But this is not the first time Prigozhin’s companies have faced complaints about the dubious quality of their products. In 2017, journalists from the “Project” platform identified 22 food companies belonging to the “Putin’s Chef” empire. They supply food to kindergartens, hospitals and emergency services.
Plastic and insects in the food
Here too, numerous unsavory to health-threatening violations due to foreign objects in the food have been reported: from human hair and plastic parts to worms and cockroaches. Hundreds of firefighters, soldiers or hospital patients supplied by Prigozhin have already become ill from such contaminated or spoiled food.
Mass outbreak of dysentery
The massive dysentery outbreak in late 2018 in seven kindergartens in Moscow caused an uproar, with 127 people suffering from the diarrheal disease. It was thanks to cottage cheese supplied by one of Prigozhin’s companies.
Due to all violations of hygiene regulations, almost 11.7 million euros in damages have been demanded from the companies responsible since 2011, according to the “Project”. In 2020 alone, claims for damages amounted to more than 2.5 million euros – a record amount. Despite everything, Prigozhin continued to receive orders for food delivery.
Orders thanks to the proximity of Putin
Good relations with Putin and the Kremlin should not be a hindrance: Years ago, the Russian opposition revealed that Prigozhin had been awarded contracts to supply the army, mostly without tenders.