By J.F. / TICR Group LLC 2022
Covering the basic activities of the Wagner Group in the first part of this series has opened the door to an incredible amount of connections and ties between various Russian oligarchs. We have spent almost 200 hours in the past two weeks falling down various rabbit holes and discovering more and more connections between powerful members of the Russian and Ukrainian governments. There are numerous articles we have found that cover small parts of everything included in this article. None of them, we have found, has covered all of the connections in their entirety. We are still researching and documenting our findings, but this is what we have up to this point. Please leave a comment at the end with your thoughts. We would love to hear what you have to say about this.
Confession, disappearance, and consequences
Valery Amelchenko, one of the hitmen under Yevgeny Prigozhin, personally went to Syria in 2017 to test various poisons on POWs. When they got to Syria in 2017, there were no POWs, so they created them. Coincidently, all of the poison tests took place in the same area in the Homs province, which was where Hamdi Bouta was tortured, beaten with a sledgehammer, beheaded, dismembered, hanged, and lit on fire, by the Wagner Group, financially supported by President Putin and Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Amelchenko admitted guilt to his murders in confidence to Denis Korotkov, a journalist for Novaya Gazeta, while in prison. (“The chef loves it spicy” by Denis Korotkov, 2018) Almost immediately after, Amelchenko disappeared without a trace and his whereabouts have been unknown ever since. It is unknown if his disappearance was directly related to speaking about his war crimes, but the timing of everything implies that it is. During the interview with Korotkov, Amelchenko confessed to beating Antion Grishchenko, username huipster, the blogger in Sochi that posted memes about Vladimir Putin, the murder of Dmitry Kargaev in Luhansk/Lugansk, the poisonous trip to Syrian Homs province, and an unsuccessful operation in the Canary Islands, which was too obscure to verify. Before the journal was published by Korotkov, Novoya Gazeta received, on their doorstep, a wreath with the journalist’s name and a severed goat head. After the publication, nine live sheep dressed in blue vests reading “Press, Novoya Gazeta,” were left in cages in front of the newsroom.
Denis Korotkov, in February of 2020, was imprisoned in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and prosecuted for extremism, links with terrorists, inciting hatred, high treason, calling for the overthrow of the constitutional order, and two counts of rehabilitation of Nazism. He is being accused of aiding the Islamic State.
Homs Province, Syria 2017
As covered in part one, Wagner Group PMC has had a lot of activity in Syria, most notably the murder of Hamda Bouta. In early 2017, Valery Amelchenko and a small team of six other “pharmacists and physicians”, disguised as military prosecutors, arrived in Syria under the pretense of testing various poison techniques on Syrian Prisoners of War (POW). To make matters worse, upon arrival, it was discovered that there were no POWs to test, so the team went out to villages around the province and created their own POWs. The poisons that were tested on who they captured were allegedly a very slow-acting poisons and the team had left Syria before the poison could take full effect. It is unknown what became of their subjects, but shortly after their departure from Syria, a high-ranking Mukhabarat officer was fatally poisoned.
The Ukraine Government Connection
Viktor Medvedchuk, is a pro-Kremlin, Ukrainian political official and head of “Ukrainian choice – People’s Right” a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Ukraine. The NGO’s cause for creation was to lobby against former president Viktor Yanukovych from signing Ukraine’s Association Agreement with the European Union (EU). Ukrainian Choice was religiously against same-sex relationships and campaigned that joining the EU would mean same-sex marriage would be legalized in Ukraine. Medvedchuk personally described the EU as the “modern heir to the Third Reich.” Pro-Ukrainian individuals stated that The Ukrainian Choice is a “Russian choice in Ukraine.”
Viktor Medvedchuk has a long history of activity inside Crimea. Medvedchuk was a major proponent of giving the DPR, LPR, and Crimea to Russia because he could not find a reasonable way to bring those areas back into Ukraine following the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
President Putin and Medvedchuk have a multi-decade long strong friendship. Upon the birth of Medvedchuk’s youngest daughter, Daryna Medvedchuk (born 2004), Medvedchuk’s wife insisted he persuades Vladimir Putin to become Daryna’s Godfather. The two have been involved in numerous business activities and have even taken vacations together in Putin’s Sochi villa and Medvedchuk’s home on the Crimean Penninsula.
US Sanctions on Viktor Medvedchuk and other members of the Ukrainian Choice part as well as current and former members of the Russian FSB were imposed in 2014 in response to their undermining of Ukrainian sovereignty specifically regarding Crimea. From the insistence of Vladimir Putin, Medvedchuk was the main negotiator in Ukrainian/Russian POW swaps. Additional sanctions were placed on Medvedchuk and his current wife, Oksana Marchenko upon discovery of their involvement/ownership, with business partner Taras Kozak, of a Russian oil refinery that funneled money directly into the pockets of Kozak and Medvedchuk, as well as funded the creation of The Ukrainian Choice part in its entirety. The refinery additionally directly funded support of DPR/LPR Russian separatists. The two, under alternate identities, stored the majority of their money in banks located in Belarus.
Resulting in more sanctions, intelligence communities identified Medvedchuk as a lead plotter to overthrow the Ukrainian government after a successful invasion of Russia and the fall of Kyiv. Intelligence analysts believe that Putin had plans to appoint Medvedchuk as the president of the new Ukrainian government. Following the Russian Invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Medvedchuk had allegedly attempted to escape Ukraine into Belarus or Russia before the Ukrainian SBU foiled the attempt and successfully took Medvedchuk into custody.
Taras Kozak, a People’s Deputy of the 8th and 9th Convocation of Ukraine and the owner of Novyny Holding, the parent company of multiple Russian news agencies including NewsOne, ZIK, and 112 Ukraine. Kozak’s business partner in Novyny Holding, is coincidently, Serhiy Medvedchuk (Viktor Medvedchuk’s brother).
In 2010, Kozak became a deputy of another NGO headed by Viktor Medvedchuk, the “Legal State Center”. He is also a member of “Ukrainskiy Vybor” (Ukrainian Choice), led by Viktor Medvedchuk.
News channels owned by Kozak have planted accusations, known to be false, on Russian television regarding Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his inner circle for mismanagement of Covid-19 guidelines and procedures.
Sanctions were placed on Kozak for his role in the selling/smuggling of coal from DPR/LPR under the guise of it being coal from South Africa. This activity gave funding directly to the DPR/LPR which resulted in numerous acts of terrorism against Ukrainian citizens. In May of 2021, Taras Kozak and Viktor Medvedchuk were both charged by the Ukrainian government with high treason for the illegal exploitation of natural resources in Crimea. It is believed that Vladimir Putin had plans to place Kozak in a partner seat next to Medvedchuk during the implementation of the new Ukrainian government.
Taras Kozak has not been seen since his high treason charge in 2021. He is believed to be residing in Belarus.
Timeline of Satan’s Businessman
Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin is the evilest and most corrupt individual I have ever learned about. Prigozhin, born in 1961 had a fairly normal childhood. He graduated from an athletics boarding school where he was a cross-country skier. In 1981, he was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment after being charged with robbery, fraud, and “involving teenagers in prostitution. He was released after 9 years. 1990 was when his business ventures began. With the help of his stepfather, they set up a hotdog stand system throughout Russian cities which was incredibly popular and they soon began bringing in more income than ever before. Prigozhin then became a 15% owner and manager of the first grocery store chain in Saint Petersburg, “Contrast”. Prigozhin, acting as CEO, then set up the first casinos in Saint Petersburg.
In 1995, revenues began to diminish and Prigozhin sought to open a restaurant in Saint Petersburg with the help of Contrast called the “Old Customs House”. 2 years later, he spent $400,000 remodeling an old boat to open a floating water-front restaurant called “New Island”. By 2001, Prigozhin was known to be an amazing chef and personally cooked and served meals for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, French President Jacques Chirac, and US President, George W. Bush, when they dined at New Island.
In 2003, Vladimir Putin invited Yevgeny Prigozhin to become his personal chef, Prigozhin obliged, left his business partners, and started his own restaurants and catering companies (Concord Catering, covered in part 1). In 2004, criminal charges were announced and soon disappeared regarding Yevgeny Prigozhin punching and throwing overboard, Dmitri Sokolov, resulting in his drowning.
Concord Catering is known to have ties with various companies and organizations. It is known that the company was the caterer for the Russian military, militants in the Wagner Group PMC, an internet media agency known as the “troll factory”, as well as schools where Prigozhin was accused of feeding tainted produce to over 130 kindergarten students and teachers which caused them to become ill. Prigozhin paid compensation to the families that attempted to sue him in order for them to drop legal action. He paid the families roughly $4,000 each. By 2012, Prigozhin had obtained 90% of the Russian military’s catering contracts.
2013 was when the Internet Research Agency (IRA) known as the “troll factory” was founded in Saint Petersburg. Employees were paid for their duties in posting messages and articles on the internet that criticized opposition. The messages allegedly came directly from the Russian government itself. In 2014, he founded the Federal News Agency, the largest pro-Kremlin media holdings company in Russia.
Beginning in 2016 and continuing until at least 2020, The IRA was found to be at the forefront of Russian interference in American elections. This interference was done by the waging of information warfare and the mass spreading of misinformation. Thousands of fake Russian social media accounts that have been tied back to the IRA have been identified over the past few years. The most prolific case of information warfare that I have found took place in 2020 when the troll factory ran advertisements to Facebook users with interests like “Black Panther Party”, “Malcolm X”, “MLK”, etc. effectively exploiting Facebook’s algorithm to target African American communities in order to sway their opinions. American MSM picked up on the growing enthusiasm for African American mistreatment, police brutality, vote suppression, etc which further amplified the publicity that Russia was attempting to push on American society and resulted in nationwide protests and riots causing millions of dollars of damage to cities across the country. Prigozhin is still at large for his crimes.
This is not the end of the series. We are still combing through hundreds of articles, indictments, and first-hand accounts regarding Russian corruption. Thank you for reading.