Novaya Gazeta: the campaign against the opposition this summer was organized by Putin’s chef Yevgeny Prigozhin

The publication published the results of the journalistic investigation

«New Newspaper» published an investigation about the organizers of the campaign against the opposition, launched this summer before the elections to the Moscow City Duma. The text is based on the working papers of the campaign participants, as well as on the comments of one of the performers. The journalists came to the conclusion that Evgeny Prigozhin is behind the series of provocations, whom the media call a close friend and «a cook» Russian President Vladimir Putin. Radio Liberty retells the investigation «Novaya Gazeta», the full text can be read here.

«Underground workshops» Lyubov Sobol

On June 29, the so-called Federal News Agency, which is associated with Prigozhin, reported on the identified in Moscow «clandestine signature factory» in favor of opposition candidates Lyubov Sobol, Ilya Yashin and Konstantin Yankauskas. «Novaya Gazeta» managed to find out that behind the creation of this fake was the political strategist Igor Mangushev, a supporter of the separatists in eastern Ukraine, who in the past worked for the Prigozhin «internet troll factory». It was Mangushev who rented and furnished the apartment, in which they then found «fake signature factory». For this, Mangushev received 300 thousand rubles. He agreed to meet with reporters and confirmed this information, but did not disclose the name of the customer.. «Considering that the leak was not my fault – these are customer problems, – I completed that order, then – not my problem. In this battle of a toad and a viper, I have no sympathy», – said Mangushev.

«Disappointed opposition activist»

As part of the campaign against the opposition, the same agency FAN on July 16 told the story of Arseniy Shipelenko, who allegedly worked at the headquarters of Lyubov Sobol. The young man said on camera «dirty methods» work, «persecution of dissent» and «consumer attitude towards people» at the Sobol headquarters. For this, Shipelenko, as follows from his receipts, received at least 850 thousand rubles. «New Newspaper» notes that the young man was previously a member of the pro-Kremlin movement «The New Frontier», and recently he attended university in the so-called «LPR» with a mission from the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. Shipelenko did not respond to a request from journalists for comment..

House in Mytishchi

Novaya Gazeta: the campaign against the opposition this summer was organized by Putin's chef Yevgeny Prigozhin

On August 31, FAN spoke about the house in the Moscow region, to which they were allegedly taken «paid» oppositionist Alexei Navalny activists from the regions so that they then participate in protests. «New Newspaper» found this house, and Igor Mangushev confirmed that the fake story about «paid activists» was part of a campaign against the opposition. This is also confirmed by receipts of royalties for participation in the plot. In total, 220 thousand rubles were spent, 150 of which were spent on remuneration of front activists. They were attracted by Alexander Bosykh, a candidate for the Moscow City Duma in constituency # 5, which was never registered in the elections. Mangushev said that Barefoot was used «into the dark».

«New Newspaper» notes that all fake materials about the opposition were published at once in several media outlets that are part of the media group «Patriot». She is associated with Yevgeny Prigozhin. According to investigative journalists, he also funded the work «internet trolls», who interfered in American elections. In addition, the name of Prigozhin is associated with the Russian «private military company Wagner». Investigation «Novaya Gazeta» The businessman did not comment on the elections to the Moscow City Duma. As the journalists of the publication stated, they did not send such a request to him..

On Sunday evening, the media group commented on the investigation. «Patriot». In the commentary, the investigation was linked to the fact that the media included in this media group, «publish materials on corruption in the editorial office «New» and their dirty ways of working». It also says that the media associated with Prigozhin were not always the primary sources of materials about the elections to the Moscow City Duma, about which he writes "New". Moreover, the results of the investigation «Novaya Gazeta» are not directly refuted.

Opposition candidates were not admitted to the elections to the Moscow City Duma due to the fact that the signatures they collected were rejected by the electoral commission. This led to massive protests in Moscow. The authorities consider them to be mass riots. Several people received real terms of imprisonment in cases initiated after the rallies

Novaya Gazeta: the campaign against the opposition this summer was organized by Putin's chef Yevgeny Prigozhin

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