Private armies and secret deals: Russia’s drive into Africa – podcast | News

Russia News

A former hotdog seller who went on to become a billionaire and key ally of Vladimir Putin is at the centre of a cache of leaked documents that reveal Russian efforts to exert influence in Africa.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is known as “Putin’s chef”, is linked to a secretive private military contractor called the Wagner group which has supplied mercenaries to fight in Ukraine and Syria.

The Guardian’s Luke Harding lays out what Russia’s objectives in Africa are likely to be and why Vladimir Putin has shifted his attention to the continent following US and European sanctions.

Also today: comedian Jon Stewart tears into US lawmakers over the treatment of 9/11 first responders and emergency services

Vladimir Putin, Yevgeny Prigozhin<br>FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 file photo, businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, left, serves food to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, center, during dinner at Prigozhin's restaurant outside Moscow, Russia.  Indicted for alleged U.S. election interference, Prigozhin is a wealthy Russian entrepreneur from St. Petersburg who's been dubbed "Putin's chef" by Russian media, with his catering businesses that have hosted the Kremlin leader's dinners with foreign dignitaries. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze, Pool, File)

Photograph: Misha Japaridze/AP

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