Return to the Meme Wall

Prigozhin’s mutiny

On June 23, 2023, Yevgeny Prigozhin staged a brief rebellion against Russian President Vladimir Putin and the heads of Russia’s military service (link to Wikipedia page below). Once Putin’s chef, Prigozhin is the leader of the paramilitary Wagner group, whose conscripts are largely made up of convicts from Russian prisons and whose soldiers have been actively fighting in Ukraine on behalf of Russia. Prigozhin claimed that the Russian military attacked his soldiers, so he announced a march on Moscow in order to depose Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov. As Prigozhin and his troops neared Moscow, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko brokered a peace deal between Prigozhin and Putin, and Prigozhin immigrated to Belarus, an option presented to all Wagner troops. Memes about this mutiny immediately began to flood the internet, and many touched on the role of Lukashenko, or the ease with which Prigozhin and Wagner were able to progress through the country and toward Moscow. Memes also often play up the confusion of two Russian celebrities with the last name Prigozhin: Yevgeny and Iosif, the music producer.On 23 August 2023, exactly two months after the mutiny, Prigozhin was presumed dead as his private plane crashed in Tver Oblast, north of Moscow, along with nine other people.