Moscow [Russia]: The death of Wagner mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin in a plane crash has been confirmed by Russia’s Investigative Committee, Al Jazeera reported on Sunday.
The probe conducted by the committee came to an end after a formal genetic analysis. “According to their results, the identities of all 10 victims were established, they correspond to the list stated in the flight list,” the committee said, according to Al Jazeera.
Black boxes from the jet that crashed and killed Yevgeny Prigozhin and nine other people have also been recovered by Russian investigators. Earlier this week, the Russian civil aviation authorities said that Prigozhin and a few of his top lieutenants were listed as passengers on the plane that crashed on August 23.
The plane crash occurred months after Prigozhin staged a mutiny against Russia’s military leadership.
The Embraer business jet, carrying the Wagner mercenary group chief, crashed in the Tver Region near the settlement of Kuzhenkino. According to preliminary data, all 10 people on board the plane have died. The plane was en route from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport to St Petersburg, TASS reported.
Prigozhin was a former close aide of Russian President Vladimir Putin until he initiated a rebellion in June 2023. Prigozhin controlled a network of companies including the Wagner private military group.
On June 23, 2023, the Wagner Group led by him launched a mutiny against the Russian military leadership. Negotiations led to the rebellion being called off. The pact that put an end to the uprising in Russia 2 months back was mediated by Putin’s close ally, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov also rejected all the allegations of ‘Russia being involved’ in Prigozhin’s death and said, “Right now, of course, there are lots of speculation around this plane crash and the tragic deaths of the passengers of the plane, including Yevgeny Prigozhin,” Peskov told reporters in a conference call, reported Al Jazeera.
“Of course in the West, those speculations are put out under a certain angle, and all of it is a complete lie.”