He’s wanted by the FBI, but you won’t find him on Twitter.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian catering oligarch widely believed to be behind St. Petersburg’s infamous troll farm, was booted off Twitter late-January — one month after joining the site — for a series of trollish tweets that veered drunkenly into self-parody.
Here are some of those tweets, in which he defends the motherland, pushes popular right-wing talking points, and complains about censorship by U.S. social media platforms.
1. In his deceptively cheerful first tweet, he wishes a “Happy New Year to Twitter!” before declaring that “Social media [is] full of slander and lies about Russia & Russians.”
2. In this ironic and drippingly sarcastic tweet, he lectures Americans on the “need to hold fair elections.” Alternatively, he suggests appointing “[Mark] Zuckerberg and [George] Soros as ‘King and Queen of the US.’ Let them figure out themselves who is a boy and who is a girl.”
3. Another slam at U.S. social media platforms and their CEOs. This time he equates getting banned from Facebook and Twitter to being impaled and having your tongue cut out by the Spanish inquisition.
4. In this tweet, he unconvincingly argues that Russia didn’t try to interfere with U.S. elections, instead accusing “Democratic politicians and the sluttish liberal media” of having “deceived the world and stolen everything.”
5. Traditional values? Is he running for office or something?
6. This one’s self-explanatory.
Prigozhin claimed ownership of the account in a rambling January 27 post on Russian social media platform VK, from which he answers questions from journalists. Archived snapshots show that he had fewer than 400 followers at the time of his suspension.
The FBI is currently offering a reward of up to $250,000 for information leading to Prigozhin’s arrest, citing “his alleged involvement in a conspiracy to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the Federal Election Commission, the United States Department of Justice, and the United States Department of State.”
H/T to the Wayback Machine and archive.today, which allowed me to archive Prigozhin’s account shortly before it got pulled.