‘Putin’s chef’ sends bloodied sledgehammer to EU with Wagner Group logo

In a separate statement, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the financier and founder of Wagner Group known as Putin’s chef, said that he was sad that the European Parliament planned to designate Wagner as a terrorist group. The European Parliament this week declared Russia a terrorist state for invading Ukraine.

He said his commanders wanted to send MEPs a sledgehammer as “information” before they completed their vote on his organisation.

Mr Prigozhin has been nicknamed ‘Putin’s chef’ because he runs a catering company and was photographed serving Kremlin guests alongside the Russian leader, most notably George W. Bush when he visited Moscow as US president 20 years ago.

Several high-profile Russian Telegram accounts commented on the Wagner sledgehammer video.

“Instead of a horse’s head, a sledgehammer. ‘Godfather’ games with a St Petersburg pronunciation,” Ksenia Sobchak, a Moscow socialite and TV personality who fled Russia this year after being accused of embezzlement, told her 1.4 million subscribers.

This month Wagner posted a video of one of its fighters smashing the head of a convict who signed up to fight in Ukraine but then tried to flee to the Ukrainian side. Other videos have shown Wagner mercenaries killing people captured in the Middle East with sledgehammers.

The group has gained more notoriety since the Kremlin invaded Ukraine. The Russian army has used Wagner as a semi-official auxiliary force and it has openly recruited from prisons and across Russia.

Previously the Kremlin used to deny Wagner’s existence.

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