The death of the leader of the mercenary Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was confirmed by Russian authorities after a genetic analysis of the bodies recovered from the crash site on Wednesday.
The Russian Investigative Committee (SK) has confirmed the identities of all 10 victims, affirming their alignment with the flight’s official passenger list. The fatal incident occurred on August 25, when Prigozhin’s private jet tragically crashed in the northwest of Moscow, resulting in the loss of all lives on board.
Amid speculations suggesting Kremlin involvement in the crash, Russian authorities have denied any responsibility. The Investigative Committee continues its comprehensive criminal investigation into the matter, striving to uncover the truth behind the tragedy.
The victims of the crash encompass several distinguished members of the Wagner paramilitary group, an organisation formed by Prigozhin that has been actively engaged in military endeavours in Ukraine, Syria, and various parts of Africa.
Tensions between the group and Russian President Putin escalated two months ago when Prigozhin led a mutiny, briefly seizing the city of Rostov and causing ripples throughout the Russian military structure.
Diplomatic negotiations eventually de-escalated the situation, prompting Prigozhin and his faction to relocate to Belarus. This incident strained relations between Prigozhin’s Wagner group and Russian authorities, with President Vladimir Putin denouncing the mutiny as a treacherous act.
In light of swirling suspicions regarding foul play in the crash, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov categorically dismissed such claims as baseless. The ongoing investigation delves into the intricate interplay between the Wagner group, the Russian military, and the broader geopolitical landscape.