One of Putins closest allies hid his control of a mercenary army for years. We have the receipts.

Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private force, the Wagner Group, has been accused of human rights abuses that include torture, rape, and the mass killing of civilians. We found his paper trail in a massive hack of Russian data.

Earlier this year, 14 terabytes of data and documents from more than 50 Russian government agencies and corporations were hacked and released to the public.

As soon as we got our hands on these files, we went to work, searching for the revelations about President Vladimir Putin’s regime that could be contained in the hacks.

What we’ve found has been damning. Emails and documents uncovered by The Intercept show how one of Putin’s closest allies worked to hide his control of a notorious mercenary group fighting alongside Russia in Ukraine.

But this reporting, pulling back the curtain on one of the most ruthless figures in Putin’s... inner circle, may be just the tip of the iceberg. This data set is simply enormous, and just indexing these files is a massive undertaking requiring specialized technology, top data experts, and money.

The Intercept is one of few publications with the expertise and resources to take on a project like this. But as a nonprofit news outlet, we need your support to keep going. Will you make a donation today and help us continue this crucial investigative reporting?

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Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private mercenary force, the Wagner Group, has been deployed in support of Russian military campaigns in half a dozen conflicts around the world, where its fighters have been accused of human rights abuses that include torture, rape, and the mass killing of civilians. Prigozhin denied his links to the group for years.

The hacked data reviewed by The Intercept shows how Prigozhin worked to hide his connection to Wagner, contest sanctions, deflect U.S. prosecution, and attack journalists investigating his shadowy businesses — with the help of U.S. and British law firms.

These are the kinds of revelations we hoped we’d find when we got our hands on this hack. But we’re just at the beginning of what could be a yearslong effort investigating perhaps the largest hack our team has ever seen.

As a nonprofit news outlet, we don’t take corporate advertising on our website, and we don’t hide our journalism behind a paywall. Instead, we rely on readers to support this critical work.

So we’re asking: Will you make a donation today and help The Intercept continue to uncover the countless stories contained in this historic hack?


Thank you,

The Intercept team

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The Intercept is an award-winning nonprofit news organization dedicated to holding the powerful accountable through fearless, adversarial journalism. Our in-depth investigations and unflinching analysis focus on surveillance, war, corruption, the environment, technology, criminal justice, the media and more. Email is an important way for us to communicate with The Intercept’s readers, but if you’d like to stop hearing from us, click here to r0 from all communications. Protecting freedom of the press has never been more important. Contribute now to support our independent journalism.

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