Wagner private militia opens St Petersburg center

STORY: The "Wagner Center" is the latest step in Prigozhin's rising public profile in recent weeks, after the businessman spent years operating in the shadows and denying he was behind the private military company, whose contract soldiers are supporting Russia's army in Ukraine.

Prigozhin last month publicly confirmed for the first time that he was the founder of Wagner, which has also deployed troops to Syria, Africa and Ukraine. The United States and European Union have sanctioned Prigozhin for his role in the group.

The new center says its goal is to create a "comfortable environment for generating new ideas in order to increase Russia's defense capabilities, including information security" according to its website.