Russian Mercenary Leader Now Behind Troll Farm Mastermind’s Catering Business
Dmitry Utkin / Screenshot 1st Channel
The leader of an infamous Russian private military company is now reportedly the general director of a catering business owned by the mastermind behind the Kremlin’s troll farm.
Dmitry Utkin, a military intelligence reserve commander, leads the Wagner mercenary group, which is believed to have played key roles in the Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts.
Businessman Dmitry Prigozhin is an investor in Wagner and the alleged head of the St. Petersburg-based firm known as the Kremlin's “troll factory.” He also owns the firms Concord Management and Consulting and Concord Catering — both under U.S. sanctions.
Prigozhin has recently denied ties to the troll factory, the Internet Research Agency.
After the name “Dmitry Valeryevich Utkin" appeared in a corporate database as the general director of Concord Management and Consulting, a source close to Prigozhin told the RBC business outlet RBC on Wednesday that it is the head of the military contractor.
The U.S. Treasury added Concord Management and Consulting and Concord Catering to its list of sanctioned companies in June after identifying Prigozhin as the “owner or controller” of both entities. The U.S. placed Prigozhin on its sanctions list in 2016.
U.S authorities suspect the business of being behind hundreds of fake Facebook and Twitter accounts that reached tens of millions of Americans during the 2016 election campaign that saw Donald Trump win the presidency.