Russia says genetic tests confirm Wagner chief Prigozhin died in plane crash

Russian authorities announced on Sunday that genetic tests had confirmed the identity of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner private military group, as one of the individuals who died in a recent plane crash.

A man inspects debris of a plane that crashed the previous day near the village of Kuzhenkino, Tver region, Russia, 24 August 2023. An investigation was launched into the crash of an aircraft in the Tver region in Russia on 23 August 2023, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency said in a statement.

A man inspects debris of a plane that crashed the previous day near the village of Kuzhenkino, Tver region, Russia, 24 August 2023. An investigation was launched into the crash of an aircraft in the Tver region in Russia on 23 August 2023, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency said in a statement.Photo: EPA/ANATOLY MALTSEV

The crash occurred last week in the Tver region, northwest of Moscow.

Prior to the Sunday announcement, Russia’s aviation agency had released the names of all 10 individuals who were on board the private jet, including Prigozhin.

Dmitry Utkin, an associate of Prigozhin who played a significant role in establishing the Wagner group, was also among the listed individuals.

On Sunday, Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app: „As part of the investigation of the plane crash in the Tver region, molecular-genetic examinations have been completed.”

„According to their results, the identities of all 10 dead were established. They correspond to the list stated in the flight sheet,” it said.

According to the Reuters news agency, speculation had arisen, particularly on pro-Wagner Telegram channels, raising questions about whether Prigozhin, known for taking security precautions due to potential threats on his life, had indeed been present on the ill-fated flight.

The crash occurred two months after Prigozhin and his Wagner mercenaries carried out a mutiny against Russian military commanders.

Some Western politicians and commentators have implied, without presenting concrete evidence, that Russian President Vladimir Putin might have orchestrated Prigozhin’s death as retribution for the mutiny, according to Reuters.

(ał)

Source: Reuters

Radio Poland

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