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Twitter, Facebook Block ‘Putin’s Chef’ Over Transphobic Comments

Yevgeny Prigozhin is known as “Putin’s chef” because of his close ties to the Russian president. Michael Metzel / TASS

Twitter and Facebook have blocked the accounts of powerful Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, his Concord catering company said Wednesday.

The accounts belonging to Prigozhin, who is known as “Putin’s chef” because of his close ties to the Russian president, were blocked "without explanation," Concord’s press service wrote on VKontakte. The company said it believed Prigozhin’s accounts were blocked because of his comments on U.S. President Joe Biden’s executive order that reversed his predecessor Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military. 

“The American military machine has become weak, and this is a clever move taken to ensure that no one is at war with American troops,” Prigozhin had written on his pages Tuesday, according to Concord. “Legend has it that the Pentagon invented a psychotropic weapon that affects the enemy in such a way that the soldiers become attracted to each other. It looks like the U.S. military depots were poorly guarded or leaked. I would like to urge cosmetic stores and pharmacies to increase their vigilance as creams, lipsticks and hormones will be stolen.”

Concord said Facebook and Twitter’s decision to block Prigozhin’s accounts was “final,” citing the social networks’ help centers. It later told Interfax that Prigozhin is considering filing lawsuits against the social media giants.

A message on Prigozhin’s Twitter page reads that his account has been suspended due to violating the social network’s guidelines. 

On Sunday, Facebook also suspended the account of Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin for 24 hours following his post criticizing former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.  

“My account was banned for a day because my post allegedly violated community norms. The publication itself was hidden. Here you have all the ‘freedom of speech’ in the American way," Rogozin told RIA Novosti.

Rogozin’s account has since been partially restored with restrictions on what he can post, the head of Russia’s space agency said on his Telegram channel. 

The Moscow Times has reached out to Facebook and Twitter for comment. 

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