Key Words: Putin ally says Russia ‘will continue to interfere’ in U.S. elections

United States

“During our pinpoint operations, we will remove both kidneys and the liver at once.”

— Yevgeny Prigozhin on Russia’s involvement in U.S. elections

Russian Oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin said Russia interfered in past U.S. elections, and said it continues to interfere in U.S. politics.

“We have interfered, are interfering and will continue to interfere,” Prigozhin said in comments posted on social media. “Carefully, precisely, surgically and in our own way.”

Prigozhin is colloquially known as “Putin’s chef” in geopolitical circles, but such a moniker likely undersells his influence. Prigozhin’s catering company has several government contracts with the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Prigozhin was one of 12 Russians and three Russian organizations charged by the U.S. government as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into foreign influence in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

“Americans are very impressionable people; they see what they want to see,” Prigozhin said shortly after he was indicted by the U.S. for election interference in 2018. “I treat them with great respect. I’m not at all upset that I’m on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them see him.”

Prigozhin had denied involvement in election interference until now, according to the Associated Press.

The comments come as top national security advisers to U.S. President Joe Biden have been in recent contact with aides to Putin in an attempts to de-escalate tensions related to the conflict in Ukraine and broader nuclear or weapons of mass destruction threats posed by Russia.