Putin leader ‘Yevgeny Prigozhin banned from Europe for shady mercenary operations

When he was released from a Soviet prison in 1990, Yevgeny Prigozhin went to work as a hot dog seller. Soon, the aspiring entrepreneur – who had just served nine years in prison for theft and fraud – began to evolve in the world of fine dining. He became the manager of a chain of grocery stores in St. Petersburg, the hometown of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and eventually developed into the restaurant business.

In the late 1990s, Prigozhin opened New Island, a floating restaurant on the Vyatka River in St. Petersburg. It became popular with the local elite, and a few years after its launch, Poutin showed up for dinner in New Island with French President Jacques Chirac. As has now become the tradition in some circles, Prigozhin himself served them.

Prigozhin, who would go on to become “Putin’s chef,” said New Island took inspiration from the seaside restaurants he saw along the Seine in Paris. But since yesterday, it is forbidden to visit them anytime soon.

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