On Sunday, the Russian investigation committee announced that Prigozhin was one of the victims of last Wednesday’s jet crash. The committee stated in an official statement that all 10 bodies found at the scene had been identified and that their identities “conform to the manifest” following forensic examination.
Following the death of its commander, Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, in an aircraft crash on Wednesday, Wagner, the once-dominant Russian private army company that lost favour with the Kremlin after an attempted mutiny in June, has been plunged into even greater uncertainty.
After the rebellion in late June, Mr. Putin told the Wagner officers they might continue working together with different authorities, he claimed in an interview published by the Russian newspaper Kommersant last month.
The Russian investigation team has not yet presented a list of potential reasons for the fatal crash last week.
According to an initial assessment by US intelligence, the plane crash incident that killed the mercenary chief and nine other people was caused by a deliberate explosion. According to a western official who recounted the preliminary analysis, it was concluded that Prigozhin was “very likely” the target of the explosion and that Putin’s “long history of trying to silence his critics” was consistent with it. Joe Biden added that Putin might be to blame for the plane disaster.
According to unaltered flight tracking data, Prigozhin’s aircraft abruptly lost altitude and hovered in the air for a few more minutes before crashing to the ground. Aviation specialists have hypothesised that the sudden crash and large amount of debris at the crash scene pointed to an explosion or quick breakdown of the aircraft, not a technical malfunction.
There have been rumours that Prigozhin was murdered by “enemies within Russia” in revenge for his brief rebellion against Russia’s forces in June on a number of channels in the Telegram texting app, which is popular among those close to him. After Prigozhin’s passing, the Wagner organisation has not yet made an official comment.
The funeral of the warlord might be held on Tuesday at a burial site for the Wagner soldiers in the Krasnodar region of southern Russia, according to one Telegram account connected to Prigozhin. Others have predicted that Prigozhin’s hometown of St. Petersburg would host the event. According to the St. Petersburg publication Fontanka, he might be interred at either the city’s Bogoslovsky or Serofimov cemeteries.
Putin’s Involvement in Prigozhin’s Death
Putin’s alleged role in the Wagner chief’s murder has been disputed by the Kremlin, which has referred to western intelligence about it as “an absolute lie.”
The Russian president has expressed his sympathies to the family of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner organisation, according to the Kremlin, which also stated it was unclear when the warlord’s funeral was going to take place or whether Putin would attend.
Putin went completely out of his way to offer a gracious homage to his former friend when he learned of Prigozhin’s death last Thursday. He praised him and referred to him as a “talented businessman” who would contribute to the common cause when requested.
In statements broadcasted on television, Putin claimed that Prigozhin’s paramilitary Wagner organisation had significantly aided the struggle against Nazism in Ukraine.