"Death is our Business". The Complete History of the Wagner Group

Ilya Barabanov and Denis Korotkov

"Death is Our Business" is the first-ever story of Yevgeny Prigozhin, written by a team of dedicated journalists in exile who spent the last eight years tracking every action of the notorious PMC Wagner. Until its spectacular fallout, PMC Wagner was the biggest private army in Russia, created to carry out tasks that the Kremlin didn't want to openly associate with. This included operations in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Mali, Armenia, and elsewhere.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the central figure in the story, was the creator of the infamous troll factory that meddled in the American elections in 2016. He was a former convict, the owner of a restaurant empire where George Bush and Vladimir Putin had their dinners, and a wannabe politician whose aspirations for a change in power ended with his plane being blown up by a bomb. Guess who was behind it?

This book delves into what led to Prigozhin's rise and fall and explores how, even after being dismantled, PMC Wagner continues to pose threats to societies around the globe, as well as revealing the brutal mafia codes in the heart of Russian politics.

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GENRE

Non-fiction, investigative journalism, political thriller

STATUS

Translatable edited and fact-checked manuscript

SAMPLES

Full Russian text, full translation in English (on request)

RIGHTS

Already sold: France (Edition Flammarion), Portugal (Zigurate) Finland (Otava), Czech Republic (Pistorius&Olshanska), Estonia (Tänapäev), Bulgaria (Storytel, audio only), worldwide Russian release (Meduza)

AUTHOR

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In 2014-2015, Ilya Barabanov, as a special correspondent of Kommersant, had reported first-hand from the fronts in Eastern Ukraine and witnessed the consequences of the first Wagner group actions. For the past six years, as a special correspondent of the BBC Russian Service, he has been reporting on the Wagner Group’s actions in Syria, Africa and Russia, being the first journalist to uncover many of the group’s deeds and crimes. Barabanov is a recipient of the Peter Mackler Award from Reporters without Borders.

Denis Korotkov has been writing about paramilitary groups since 2013. As a reporter for Fontanka, Novaya Gazeta and the Dossier Center, he published many articles implicating Prigozhin and the Wagner Group in breaking international laws. For this, Korotkov received death threats. In 2016 and 2017, Korotkov’s stories were awarded with Redkollegia, the biggest Russian independent journalist award. He is also a recipient of the Profession: Journalist award (2016), The Golden Quill (2017) and the Andrei Sakharov Award (2017). In 2019, he was a finalist for the Global Shining Light International Award for Investigative Journalism.

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