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A Hotdog Seller Who Became Putin’s War Machine: What Was Wagner Chief Yevgeny Prigozhin's Net Worth?

Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin died on August 23, 2023, in a plane crash. He was 62. He was the chief of Russian mercenary group Wagner.
Cover Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Cover Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Name   Yevgeny Prigozin
Net Worth $1 billion
Salary N/A
Annual income N/A
Sources of income Business ventures
DOB June 1, 1961
Age 62 years at the time of death
Gender Male
Nationality Russian
Profession Businessman

Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin died on August 23, 2023, in a plane crash. He was 62. He was the chief of Russian mercenary group Wagner with whom he staged a short-lived mutiny against Russia’s military leadership in June. Prigozhin had an estimated net worth of over $1 billion at the time of his death, according to The Sun UK.  

Prigozhin was the leader of the Wagner Group and a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was at the forefront of the Wagner Group’s involvement during the war in Ukraine. However, he later became Putin’s greatest enemy and launched an alleged coup in June 2023. 

Prigozhin started his journey to the top in 1981 from Leningrad, now St. Petersburg. As per documents, obtained by the Russian news publication, Meduza, Prigozhin was charged with robbery and assault and held in the penal colonies of Soviet Russia, The Guardian reported. He was released after serving nine years after which he began selling hot dogs on streets. He then opened a convenience store, and chain of restaurants, and was a part of organized crime.

His restaurant business became hugely successful and one day Putin himself came to dine at one of his establishments. The two reportedly became comrades and soon Prigozhin’s catering company started getting lucrative state contracts to feed Russia’s schools and military.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

In 2016, Prigozhin announced that he was the founder, leader, and financier of the Wagner group, which had gained a reputation for its brutality during the unrest in the Donbask region of Ukraine after the annexation of Crimea. The group also fought in Syria alongside Bashar Assad’s government and in other conflicts in Africa.


The group was involved in the war on Ukraine and the Wagner chief even claimed credit for capturing the Donetsk region and accused the Russian Defence Ministry of stealing their glory, as per Al Jazeera. However, Prigozhin launched a brief rebellion in June that posed an unprecedented challenge to Putin’s authority before it was suddenly called off in a deal that required the Wagner chief and his fighters to relocate to Belarus.

On August 23, Prigozhin died when his private jet, Embraer Legacy 600, exploded mid-air and crashed after taking off from an airport near Moscow, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency said, as per CNN. Accoring to a BBC report, the executive jet showed that no signs of trouble before an unexpected drop in its last 30 seconds of received altitude. His sudden death sparked conspiracy theories that Putin and the Kremlin were behind it. US President Joe Biden also suggested to CNN that Putin may have been behind the crash.


Prigozhin made billions from government contracts and other illicit contracts through the Wagner group. Earlier in June, the Kremlin announced that Prigozhin and Wagner Group had raked in $ 2,01,27,52,000 (£1.6 billion) worth of contracts from the Russian state in the past year alone, The Sun UK reported. 

The Wagner Group also earned contracts for security services to regions in war-torn African and Middle Eastern countries. Further, companies allegedly linked to Prigozhin generated $250 million from natural resources, as per an investigative report of the Financial Times. The Wagner Group reportedly deals with diamonds, gold, oil, and gas from the countries where they operate.


Prigozhin's network of hog dog joints became hugely lucrative which allowed him to buy a 15% share in supermarket chain "Contrast-24". He then expanded his business in media and hospitality co-founding the first casinos in St. Petersburg. He also founded Concord Management and Consulting, which owns and operates Concord Catering and a number of restaurants. The firm also has a floating restaurant called New Island. However, in 2003, Prigozhin parted ways with his business partners and founded his own independent restaurants before declaring himself the leader of the Wagner Group.

Wikimedia Commons | FBI
Wikimedia Commons | FBI

Pregozhin reportedly owned a palatial estate worth nearly $94,39,462 (£7.5million), a 120ft yacht called St Vitamin worth nearly $56,64,240 (£4.5million) and a Hawker 800 private aircraft worth about $37,76,160 (£3million), as per The Sun UK.

Prigozhin was married to Lyubov Valentinovna, and the couple had three children Polina, Veronika, and Pavel. Valentinova, who was a pharmacist, became the owner of a network of boutique stores in St. Petersburg called the Chocolate Museum which she opened after marriage with Pregozhin. Valentinova also runs the luxury day spa Crystal Spa & Lounge, the boutique hotel Crystal Spa & Residence, and the company New Technologies SPA.

How old was Yevgeny Prighozhin at the time of his death?

62 years

Who Killed Yevgeny Prigozhin?

Yevgeny Prigozhin was killed in a plane crash near Moscow.

What did Yevgeny Prigozhin do?

Prigozhin was a Russian mercenary boss who challenged the Kremlin in a brief mutiny in June 2023, amid the Ukraine war.  

What is Yevgeny Prigozhin's net worth?

Prigozhin had an estimated net worth of over $1 billion at the time of his death.

Who is Yevgeny Prigozhin's wife?

Lyubov Prigozhina (Valentinovna).

Who is the boss of Wagner?

Yevgeny Prigozhin was the head of the Wagner mercenary group.