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So You Want Your Own Army?

What happens when a hot dog salesman goes to war?

Words: Laicie Heeley
Pictures: Marc Johns/Cast from Clay
Date:

After almost a decade in prison, Yevgeny Prigozhin was released into a new world. Gorbachev gave his last speech as leader of the Soviet Union; the Communist Party was outlawed. Soon, gangs were violently extorting new business owners and the murder rate doubled. But Prigozhin was comfortable with chaos. He started a hot dog stand and climbed his way up into the highest echelons of power… then decided to diversify.

In this episode, we look at a Russian businessman who takes on a new game, war in the shadows, and how we prepare for what we can’t see.

Listen and subscribe now on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyPocket Casts, or wherever you get your podcasts to receive a new episode every two weeks.

GUESTS: Anastasia Gorshkova, Russian Journalist; Sean McFate, Georgetown, Author, Former Mercenary

ADDITIONAL READING:

Putin’s Kleptocracy, Karen Dawisha.

The Future is History, Masha Gessen.

The New Rules of War, Sean McFate.

Laicie Heeley

Editor in Chief

Laicie Heeley is the founding CEO of Inkstick Media, where she serves as Editor in Chief of the foreign policy magazine Inkstick and Executive Producer and Host of the PRX- and Inkstick-produced podcast, Things That Go Boom. Heeley’s reporting has appeared on public radio stations across America and the BBC, where she’s explored global security issues including domestic terrorism, disinformation, nuclear weapons, and climate change. Prior to launching Inkstick, Heeley was a Fellow with the Stimson Center’s Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program and Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Her publications include work on sanctions, diplomacy, and nuclear arms control and nonproliferation, along with the first full accounting of US counterterrorism spending after 9/11.

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