LONDON - A Financial Times investigation based on leaked emails and documents, as well as corporate records, export certificates and interviews, demonstrates how Prigozhin has used leading corporate lawyers around the world to try to keep western governments at bay.

Having instructed a leading firm in Moscow, he established a string of shell companies that have allowed his mercenary operations in Africa and Syria to keep functioning.

The documents provide an unprecedented insight into Wagner’s business operations, revealing a group of front companies connected to Prigozhin, such as RN Trading, that have managed to operate unsanctioned up until this day.

UN investigators documented how Wagner mercenaries had been involved in human rights violations in Central African Republic including torture, disappearances, summary execution and rape.

In June 2019, Sudanese paramilitary fighters, who had been trained by Wagner mercenaries, killed more than 100 protesters in the country’s capital Khartoum.