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Oligarch Evgeny Prigozhin sues Ekho Moskvy for calling him the ‘Wagner PMC’s owner’ on-air

Catering magnate Evgeny Prigozhin has filed a lawsuit against Ekho Moskvy and its editor-in-chief Alexey Venediktov, as well as the the chief editor of the radio station’s website, Vitaly Ruvinsky.

According to the press service for Prigozhin’s Concord Group, the lawsuit insists that “the information about Evgeny Viktorovich [Prigozhin] being the ‘owner of the Wagner PMC’ be recognized as untrue” and demands that Ekho Moskvy take down this information and issue a retraction.

If the radio station refuses to comply, Prigozhin has asked the court to impose a 200,000-ruble ($2,780) fine and recover 30,000 rubles ($417) “per day” from each of the defendants “in the event of further failure to execute the court’s decision.”

Best known as “Putin’s chef,” Evgeny Prigozhin is a business tycoon with major state contracts in catering and food production, who reportedly holds assets in the private military industry and mass media market. Prigozhin has been linked to the Wagner Private Military Company (PMC), whose mercenaries operate outside of Russia, as well as to the “St. Petersburg troll factory.”

Prigozhin has filed numerous defamation lawsuits against a number of media outlets, including Meduza.

In 2016, Evgeny Prigozhin filed a number of lawsuits against the Internet companies Yandex, Google and Mail.ru under Russia’s law on the “right to be forgotten,” demanding that the Internet companies delete search results linking to articles that he believed tarnished his business reputation. Prigozhin later withdrew the claims against Yandex and Mail.ru; a court rejected the lawsuit against Google.

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