Photographs Cut from a 9-Year-Old Video Basis for Claims that Prigozhin is Alive

Published on:

Photo: Screenshot from a video

The photographs shared in this Facebook post, in fact, are cut from a video of an event recorded back in 2014. Therefore, claiming that Prigozhin is alive on the basis of these photographs is manipulative


post on the social network Facebook (screenshot here) claims that the leader of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is still alive, supporting the claim with several attached photographs of Prigozhin. This, however, is not true.

END TO THE LIES OF CNN, states the post.

It claims that the leader of the paramilitary unit Wagner, Prigozhin, is still alive after the announcement that he died in a plane crash towards the end of last month. Namely, on 23rd August, the private plane owned by the mercenary Wagner Group crashed while traveling from Sankt Petersburg to Moscow, and official representatives from the company announced that their chief was among the nine people on the passenger list.

The Embraer Legacy plane crashed in the vicinity of Kuzhnekino, an area in the Tver Region. 10 persons, including three crew members, were on board. According to initial reports, everyone on the plane was killed, announced the press service of the Ministry for Emergency Situations on 23rd August.

The Facebook post, however, claims that he “resurrected” or did not die in the plane crash and that he is alive. As proof of such a claim, the post offers five photographs of Prigozhin and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The photographs lead to the conclusion that they were taken at some reception attended by many people some of whom are global leaders, holding champagne glasses in their hands.

While searching the photographs, we realized that they were, in fact, cuttings of a video. This video is a compilation of video clippings of an event that took place nine years ago. Hence, the claim that Prigozhin is alive based on the photographs published in the post is manipulative.

Namely, parts of the video present Putin talking to the Belarus President, Alexandar Lukashenko, as well as with Dmitry Medvedev, who had been performing the functions of both President and Prime Minister of Russia. That frame of the video, showing Prigozhin in the background, and the completely same environment, dress code of the guests, and the venue of the event, can also be noticed in another nine-year-old video that was published in 2014. This video specifies the location as Sochi. Because the video was published in 2014, the reception, most probably, was organized on the occasion of the Olympic Games that took place in Sochi that same year.

This fact is quite enough to reject the claim that Prigozhin is alive based on the published photographs.

In all of the frames, Prigozhin is in the background handing over glasses of champagne to some of the guests, including Putin. This is not unusual bearing in mind that he was called “Putin’s chef” because he became rich as the owner of hospitality companies and restaurants catering food and drinks for official Kremlin events. One of his most famous photographs is the one where he is serving food to the Russian President. After that, he earned the nickname “Putin’s chef”.

Even the former American President, George Bush, recently realized that he was served dinner by Yevgeny Prigozhin during his visit to Sankt Petersburg in 2006. Speaking via a video link at the conference “Yalta European Strategy” in Kyiv, Bush was asked about the death of the head of the Wagner Group. Bush remarked that he had not realized until lately that he had eaten food served by Prigozhin himself.

I was shocked when I saw several days ago a photograph of the G8 Summit in Sankt Petersburg where Prigozhin was the man serving my food. He was a chef. The only thing I know is that I survived, said the former American President.

Although the Wagner plane crash caused all sorts of conspiracy theories about whether Prigozhin was or was not on the plane, nevertheless this post is disseminating untrue information by claiming that he is alive based on nine years old photographs. Hence, we assess this post as untrue.