A close friend of Putin promises to “ruin” Navalny

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MOSCOW | Yevgeny Prigojine, a controversial relative of President Vladimir Putin, on Wednesday promised to “ruin”, unless he “gives up the ghost”, the opponent Alexeï Navalny, who is in a coma in Berlin following an alleged poisoning.

The businessman, nicknamed “Putin’s boss” because his catering company Concord worked for the Kremlin, is suspected of being linked to a “troll factory” that Washington accuses of electoral interference and to the opaque group of mercenaries Wagner.

Mr. Prigojine now intends to make Navalny and his ally Lioubov Sobol pay 88 million rubles (nearly $ 1.5 million) in damages following the publication of one of their investigations, said Tuesday. evening in a statement the press service of Concord.

Mr. Navalny and his team target the corruption of Russian elites in their investigations, and garner millions of views on social networks.

“I intend to ruin this group of unscrupulous people,” said Mr. Prigojine according to this statement, saying that a school canteen company, which entered into a contract with Concord, would have suffered damage following a video of Mr. Navalny incriminating his activity.

He would have compensated this company and intends to reimburse himself to the opponents.

“If Navalny returns his soul to God, I have no intention of persecuting him in this world (…) If he lives, he will have to answer with all the rigor of Russian law”, he said. he adds.

In March, Mr. Prigojine demanded 50 billion in compensation from the United States after being sanctioned by Washington for his role in Moscow’s interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Mr. Prigojine is also accused – which he denies – of being linked to the Wagner group, whose men are said to serve in Syria, Libya and several African countries.

Mr. Navalny is hospitalized in Berlin. His German doctors said they had established that he had “traces of poisoning”.

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