The authorities of St. Petersburg publicly responded to Yevgeny Prigozhin’s attacks on Alexander Beglov at least four times. One more time – anonymously.
In September, a few hours after Prigozhin’s publication that Beglov allegedly did not support the war in Ukraine, the press service of Smolny wrote: “St. Petersburg contributes in every possible way to the conduct of a special military operation. The medical institutions of the city provide all the necessary assistance to the participants and their families.”
At the same time, Vice Governor Oleg Ergashev instructed apply to law enforcement agencies to check those who “distribute fake (false) information about the activities of the government of St. Petersburg.” “Rotunda” notedthat in this way the authorities actually threatened the media owned by Prigozhin with a criminal case.
Before that, in July, Beglov interview RIA Novosti has already urged “distributors of fakes” to fight “Ukrainian and Western propaganda” together. it regarded as an appeal to the media Prigogine. “Those who haven’t stopped yet [критиковать власти Петербурга], I urge you to think about the time in which we live and direct your energy in a constructive direction. We can join forces on the front of the information war unleashed against Russia,” he said.
Then, in July, a “high-ranking official” from Smolny anonymously answered “Fontanka” to the accusations voiced by Prigogine that St. Petersburg is controlled by “a gang of people lining their pockets.”
The source said that Prigozhin’s attack on Beglov was “a private statement by a private entrepreneur who is fighting for his business interests.” But he stressed that in the governor’s office “they paid attention to the vehemence and thoughtlessness with which the entrepreneur rushes to words.”
— [Евгений Пригожин] is now doing a great job for the country. It is associated with constant anxiety, extreme tension of emotional forces. It probably has an effect. We treat this with sympathy and understanding, – quoted “Fontanka” of an anonymous official who hinted at the participation of PMC “Wagner”, created by Prigozhin, in the war in Ukraine.
In April, Beglov himself publicly attacked the businessman without naming Prigozhin. Reporting to the Legislative Assembly, the governor of St. Petersburg declaredthat a certain “famous businessman” illegally earned money through the social catering sector in St. Petersburg and “robbed children” along with “a bunch of his semi-criminal comrades.”
– The unscrupulous business did not just deliberately bankrupt any competitors, it created its own media, its own security structures. In fact, our own non-legal little world was forming in our city,” Beglov mentioned. “Rotonda” noted that there is no doubt that we are talking about Prigogine.
At the end of 2021, by data “Rotundas,” Beglov said at a meeting with the editors-in-chief of the St. Petersburg media that the city “is not ready” to implement Prigozhin’s projects: for example, to build a metro and a park complex “Tuchkov Buyan“.
According to Beglov, in the retelling of the meeting participant, Prigozhin allegedly wanted to reform the education system in such a way that it would lead to the bankruptcy of the existing social catering plants, which the city would then have to buy out from the businessman.