10 corpses and flight recorders retrieved at site of aircraft crash linked to Wagner Group leader Prigozhin

Russia Reports Recovery of 10 Bodies and Flight Recorders from Jet Crash Believed to Have Fatally Struck Wagner Group Leader Yevgeny Prigozhin

Russian authorities have announced the retrieval of 10 bodies and flight recorders from the site of a plane crash, suspected to have caused the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner private military company.

“Investigations are currently underway, including molecular-genetic tests,” officials stated.

The incident occurred near Moscow and has prompted various speculations, including the possibility of a bomb or missile involvement.

Denying allegations of Kremlin involvement in Prigozhin’s demise, the spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an interview with the BBC, dismissed claims that an order to assassinate Prigozhin had been given.

Formerly a staunch supporter of Putin, Prigozhin led a failed armed uprising with his private military personnel in June. While Putin condemned the mutiny as an act of betrayal, a subsequent agreement was reached allowing Wagner mercenaries to integrate into Russia’s regular armed forces or relocate to Belarus, a Russian ally.

Despite this, following the rebellion, many analysts deemed Prigozhin’s fate precarious, asserting that the Russian president would not easily pardon the Wagner leader.

During a press conference, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov remarked that there was considerable speculation surrounding the tragic deaths of all individuals on the Embraer Legacy 600 jet, which crashed in the Tver region to the northwest of Moscow on Wednesday.

The plane’s passenger list indicated the presence of Prigozhin, his associate Dmitry Utkin, five other passengers, and three crew members onboard.

Peskov dismissed claims of Western-originated speculation, branding them as falsehoods. He emphasized the necessity of awaiting the results of the ongoing official investigation to ascertain the facts.

Regarding Prigozhin’s presence on the plane, Peskov declined to provide confirmation of the Kremlin’s awareness.

The presumed passing of Prigozhin has cast uncertainty on the future of the Wagner private military company. Belarusian leader Aleksander Lukashenko declared that approximately 10,000 Wagner fighters would remain stationed in Belarus. Nevertheless, experts widely believe Lukashenko takes directives from Moscow.

After nearly a day of silence, President Putin extended condolences to the families of the crash victims and referred to Prigozhin as a talented individual who had made significant life errors.

The cause of the crash has spurred intense conjecture. The Pentagon suggested Prigozhin’s likely demise, and a US official informed CBS News that an onboard explosion was the probable reason behind the crash.

On Friday, President Joe Biden noted that the US was actively working to determine the exact cause of the plane’s downfall. (Source: BBC)

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