Yevgeny Prigozhin simply won’t give up. Instead of backing down after his attempted coup against the Kremlin – from which he got off unexpectedly lightly – the Wagner chief continues to fire back at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government, revealing confidential information about Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
A bitter feud between Prigozhin and the Russian military had led to the Wagner military group declaring rebellion in mid-June and the mercenaries being ordered to march directly to the Kremlin. Although the action was called off at the last moment, President Putin and his government have been struggling with their image within the population ever since.
Rise of Sergei Shoigu
Shoigu graduated from Krasnoyarsk Polytechnic Institute in 1977 and received a degree in civil engineering. Like many graduates of Soviet universities, he was awarded the rank of lieutenant reserve.
For a long time, he worked in various roles for construction companies in Siberia. In the late 1980s, he held secretary and inspector positions in the Communist Party Committees of Achinsk and Krasnoyarsk.
After that, Shoigu moved to Moscow and worked as deputy chairman of the State Committee for Construction and Architecture, then in 1991 became the head of the Russian Emergency Committee.
Shoigu actively supported former Russian President Boris Yeltsin. In 1993, Yeltsin awarded him the rank of Major General, leapfrogging several ranks that Shoigu had never held. Between 1994 and 2012, he headed up the Ministry of Emergency Situations.
In 1995, 1996, and 1998, Shoigu was awarded new military ranks, then in 2003 received the rank of army general from President Vladimir Putin before finally becoming Russia’s defense minister in 2012.
Shoigu’s billions stashed in Europe
Prigozhin, on the other hand, continues his personal feud against the Russian government, lashing out at Shoigu. On his own Telegram channel in mid-July, he published an exposé titled: How fabulously rich the Shoigu family is and how the minister is trying to hide billions in assets.
In the Telegram post, he reveals the politician’s wealth, confirming what the now imprisoned oppositionist Alexei Navalny already revealed in 2015.
In it, Prigozhin states that Shoigu’s daughter Julia owns four mansions worth about 90 million euros in the heart of Moscow. She had not acquired them herself, but had received them free of charge from Dmitry Bossov, a metallurgy and oil billionaire ‘close to the family’.
Shoigu’s daughter Yulia Shoigu received hundreds of millions of dollars from various businesses and arms export cut from Rostec and Rosoboronexport, two of the big conglomerate that exports weapons globally. Yulia Shoigu is the eldest daughter of Sergei Shoigu, the current Minister of Defense of Russia.
Prigozhin said Yulia Shoigu manages her family assets in Europe in particular cashed up Shoigu’s billions of dollars of properties, investment, and bank accounts in the UK, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and France.
Moreover, Prigozhin, who is himself a billionaire, further claims that in 2017 Bossov allegedly handed over to Shoigu’s youngest daughter, Ksenia, a port on the North Sea route through which coal from Arctic deposits was to be exported.
Shoigu’s youngest daughter Ksenia Shoigu was born on January 10, 1991, in Moscow. Yulia is married to Alexei Zakharov, who holds the position of deputy prosecutor-general of Russia. The couple have two children – daughter Darina and son Kirill. While Ksenia’s father threatens the West with war, Ksenia and her husband have traveled and enjoyed vacations in various European countries to maintain their fortunes.
Ksenia is vocally supportive of the invasion of Ukraine. She publicly said that she fully supports Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
In 2022, Sergei Shoigu’s family and the Russian Triathlon Federation headed by daughter Ksenia, came under Western sanctions in connection with Russia’s war in Ukraine. On March 12, Ksenia closed her Instagram account.
Before doing so, she wrote a post in support of her father, stating that she was not ashamed to be Russian and that she considered military action in Ukraine to be a necessity.
In addition, there is an enormous fortune of Shoigu’s sister-in-law, who is said to have more than $1.5 billion in her bank accounts in Europe and owns several mansions in Moscow.
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