Russian President Vladimir Putin broke his silence on Thursday over the plane crash that killed notorious mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigogine and other senior members of the Wagner paramilitary group.
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In televised remarks, Putin described the crash as a “tragedy” and expressed “serious condolences to the families of all the victims”. It is known that along with Prigogine, nine other people on board have also died in the accident.
Putin’s statement is the first official confirmation that Wagner Chief has died. Wednesday evening’s crash came just two months after Prigozhin led a rebellion against Moscow’s top military officials, seen by some observers as the biggest threat to Putin’s long rule.
Although Moscow has launched an investigation into the violation of air traffic rules, investigators have remained tight-lipped as speculation of a possible murder has grown.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky insisted that Kiev had nothing to do with the incident. He said, “I think everyone knows who it is related to.” This thing seems to be in reference to Putin.
Moscow initially did not confirm his death, saying only that 62-year-old Prigozhin was listed as a passenger on the plane. But when Putin broke his silence on Thursday, he paid a fitting tribute to the mercenary boss and the paramilitary group he leads.
Putin said, “I have known Prigozhin for a very long time, since the beginning of the 90s. He was a man with a complicated fate and made serious mistakes in his life, but he achieved the right results.”
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