Support The Moscow Times!

Exiled Wagner Boss Shutters Patriot Media Group – Reports

Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin. Vladimir Zhabrikov / URA.RU / TASS

Wagner mercenary group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin has closed down his St. Petersburg-based media holding, according to multiple media reports published Friday. 

The Patriot media group, which Prigozhin founded in 2019, encompasses the Internet Research Agency, widely known as a "troll factory," which conducts online influence operations to advance Russia's business and political interests abroad.

All of the dozens of media outlets under Patriot's umbrella, including RIA FAN, People’s News and Economics Today, will be permanently shut down, according to information published by Telegram news channel Mash. 

The St. Petersburg-based news outlet Rotonda also reported, citing an anonymous source, that the Patriot media holding has been dissolved. 

Prigozhin has not yet confirmed or denied the rumors about the closure of his media group.

The reports come just a day after independent business news website The Bell reported that Prigozhin’s media outlets could be sold to the private media holding National Media Group (NMG).

NMG was founded by billionaire banker Yury Kovalchuk, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, and Putin’s alleged mistress Alina Kabayeva is the chair of its board of directors.  

Patriot’s work has been paralyzed for nearly a week after police raided its St. Petersburg headquarters during Wagner’s “march of justice” last weekend, according to The Bell’s sources. 

Access to all of Prigozhin’s news outlets had been blocked by state information watchdog Roskomnadzor earlier Friday. The agency did not state the reason behind its decision. 

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more