Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, has been officially declared dead following genetic analysis, as investigators strive to uncover the cause of the plane crash that claimed his life earlier in the week.
Amidst speculation about potential Kremlin involvement, the incident occurred precisely two months after Wagner orchestrated a mutiny against Moscow’s military leadership.
Svetlana Petrenko, a spokesperson from Russia’s Investigative Committee, announced the completion of molecular-genetic examinations related to the plane crash in the Tver region.
“Their findings have established the identities of all 10 victims, in alignment with the flight list,” she affirmed.
Among the other passengers on the crashed Embraer private jet was Dmitry Utkin, a shadowy figure linked to Wagner’s operations and alleged service in Russian military intelligence.
While Russian officials initiated an inquiry into air traffic violations, details about the crash’s potential cause remain undisclosed.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed claims of Moscow orchestrating Prigozhin’s death, labeling them an “absolute lie.”
In a bid to exert control over groups like Wagner, a presidential decree now mandates that paramilitary fighters pledge allegiance to the Russian flag.
President Vladimir Putin acknowledged knowing Prigozhin since the 1990s, acknowledging both mistakes and achievements attributed to him.
Nevertheless, this failed to quell rising questions and frustration regarding Prigozhin’s demise, leading to impromptu memorials cropping up across Russian cities.
Amidst these memorials, individuals expressed their beliefs about Prigozhin’s enemies and the potential culprits behind his death.
Tensions between Moscow and Kyiv remained unabated, with Russia reporting drone attacks on its border regions and Ukraine responding to Russian air raids.
Amidst ongoing hostilities, Ukraine mourned the loss of three pilots, including fighter ace “Juice,” who perished in a mid-air collision. The incident underscored Ukraine’s desire to modernize its air force with advanced F-16 jets.
President Volodymyr Zelensky pledged a thorough investigation into the incident.
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