Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman with ties to the Kremlin, said on Monday that he had meddled in American elections and would do so going forward, confirming for the first time the charges that he has long denied.
We have intervened, we are interfering, and we will meddle, gentlemen.
According to our knowledge, carefully, precisely, surgically, and in our way,” Prigozhin boasted in public comments on social media.
The response to a request for comment came on the eve of the U.S. midterm elections from the press office of his catering business, which earned him the moniker “Putin’s chef.”
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department declined to comment.
It was the 61-year-old billionaire connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration’s second significant admission in recent months.
Before this, Prigozhin appeared to be more concerned with establishing political influence than remaining under the radar with his operations.
He also freely discussed the Wagner Group’s involvement in Russia’s eight-month-old war in Ukraine in September, even though he had previously denied doing so in public.
Additionally, the military contractor has dispatched personnel to Syria and sub-Saharan Africa.
A recent video also shows a person who resembles Prigozhin visiting Russian prisons to recruit inmates to fight in Ukraine.
Before the 2016 presidential election, which Republican Donald Trump won, Prigozhin, a dozen other Russian citizens, and three Russian businesses were accused of running a covert social media effort to sow division and divide American public opinion.
As a result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Russian election meddling, they were indicted.
In 2020, the Justice Department filed a motion to drop the charges against two indicted companies, Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering.
The department claimed that it had concluded that a trial against a corporate defendant with no presence in the United States and no chance of receiving a significant sentence, even if found guilty, would probably reveal confidential law enforcement methods and procedures.