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Prigozhin is presumed dead after Wagner-connected media confirms he was on the crashed plane.

Prigozhin is presumed dead after Wagner-connected media confirms he was on the crashed plane.
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Prigozhin is presumed dead after Wagner-connected media confirms he was on the crashed plane.

The founder of the mercenary Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was aboard a business jet that crashed in Russia on Wednesday, according to Wagner-linked media. Prigozhin was also on the flight, according to Russian aviation authorities.

The crash killed all ten people on board, including three crew members. Following the initial investigations, eight bodies were discovered at the crash site, according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.Read More:Dream Girl 2 Advance Booking: Ayushmann Khurrana’s film sells 14,000 tickets just two days before its release.

“The following passengers were on board the Embraer – 135 (EBM-135BJ) aircraft, according to the airline:… Rosaviatsia, Russia’s aviation agency, said, “Prigozhin, Yevgeny.”

Rosaviatsia also claimed that Dmitry Utkin, a Prigozhin associate and a shadowy figure in charge of Wagner’s operations, was on the plane with the Wagner chief.

Grey Zone, a Wagner-affiliated Telegram channel, confirmed Prigozhin’s death, calling him a hero and patriot. The post also claimed that he died at the hands of unidentified “traitors to Russia.”

“An investigation into the Embraer plane crash that occurred tonight in the Tver region has been launched.” The name and surname of Yevgeny Prigozhin appear on the passenger list,” Rosaviatsia, Russia’s civil aviation authority, said in response to the plane’s crash.

The plane was en route from Moscow to St. Petersburg when it crashed near the village of Kuzhenkino in Tver, a region more than 100 kilometers north of Moscow.

In over 20 years of service, the Embraer jet model has only had one accident, and it was not due to mechanical failure.

“It’s possible that this was not a tragic accident,” DW Russia bureau chief Juri Rescheto said. “He became extremely important to the Kremlin.” He became so powerful that he was extremely inconvenient, publicly and loudly questioning the sense of the war in Ukraine.”

“I can imagine that the Wagner Group will no longer exist as a fighting force,” Rescheto said if Prigozhin’s death is confirmed.

Since Prigozhin led his mercenary soldiers on a brief mutiny against Moscow on June 23, there has been much speculation about his whereabouts.

A video purportedly showing Prigozhin in Africa was released just two days ago on Telegram. It would be his first video since the failed rebellion.

The death of Prigozhin came as no surprise to the White House.

The White House also acknowledged the news, and President Joe Biden spoke candidly with reporters about it as he was leaving a fitness studio on vacation.

“I don’t know what happened for sure, but I’m not surprised,” Biden said, adding that “there’s not much that happens in Russia that (President) Putin isn’t involved in.” But I don’t know enough to give you an answer.” Read More:Afghanistan vs Pakistan: When and how to watch AFG vs PAK 2nd ODI; live-streaming details

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak responded to the news on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, saying it was “obvious” Putin would make an example of Prigozhin.

“The demonstrative elimination of Prigozhin and the Wagner command two months after the coup attempt is a signal from Putin to Russia’s elites ahead of the 2024 elections,” Podolyak continued.

On state news channel TVP Info, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau stated that Prigozhin’s death could not be a coincidence. “It just so happens that political opponents whom Vladimir Putin considers a threat to his power do not die naturally,” he added.

“If true, it shows Putin will eliminate opponents, and that scares anyone who is thinking of expressing an opinion different than his,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas told CNN.

Who exactly is Yevgeny Prigozhin?

Wagner forces were involved in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, where they played an important role in the battle for Bakhmut. However, tensions between the mercenary group and the Russian army grew to the point where Prigozhin decided to withdraw his troops from Ukraine and march on Moscow, capturing the key city of Rostov-on-Don in the process.

The 62-year-old had previously railed against Russia’s military leadership, particularly defence minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov. He complained about his forces’ lack of supplies and eventually claimed that Russian forces had fired on Wagner mercenaries.Also read:Gadar 2 box office collection day 13: Film starring Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel earns 10.4 crore, bringing its total to 411 crore.

The rebellion was put down after negotiations mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and an agreement that the mercenary leader would accompany his forces to Belarus. However, conflicting reports indicated that he left Belarus soon after.

In a public address hours after the mercenaries began their march, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Prigozhin’s actions “treason.”

Prigozhin had previously served as Putin’s personal caterer, making him a valuable ally. He used his position to establish a number of companies, including the Wagner Group.

His open challenge to the Kremlin and the Russian president’s rule was one of the most significant since Putin took power more than two decades ago.

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