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Kremlin Denies Killing Wagner Boss, Prigozhin




Suggestions that the Kremlin had a hand in the killing of Russian mercenary boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin has been denied.

The Kremlin denied the allegation while declining to definitively confirm his death.

Russia’s aviation authority say that Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group, was on board a private jet that crashed on Wednesday evening, August 23, northwest of Moscow with no survivors.

Recall that Prighozin led an unsuccessful mutiny against the Kremlin and military leadership of Russia two months ago, but turned back his forces after the Belarusian president claimed he had agreed on a deal between Putin and Prighozin to avoid bloodshed.

After the deal was agreed, Prighozin was seen in Belarus, Africa, and regularly traveled in and out of Russia not wary of retribution from Putin.

On Thursday, 24 hours after his death, President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to the families of those killed in the crash and spoke of Prigozhin in the past tense, breaking his silence after the incident which occurred exactly two months to the day after Prigozhin led a failed mutiny against army chiefs.

Putin cited “preliminary information” as indicating that Prigozhin and his top associates in the Wagner mercenary group had all been killed and, while praising Prigozhin, said he had also made some “serious mistakes.”

Western politicians have suggested, without presenting evidence, that Putin ordered Prigozhin to be killed in order to punish him for launching the June 23-34 mutiny against the army’s leadership which also represented the biggest challenge to Putin’s own rule since he came to power in 1999.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday said the accusation and many others like it were false.

“It’s an absolute lie” Peskov said citing the need to wait for test results.

“There is now a great deal of speculation surrounding this plane crash and the tragic deaths of the plane’s passengers, including Yevgeny Prigozhin. Of course, in the West, all this speculation is presented from a well-known angle,” Peskov told reporters.

“All of this is an absolute lie, and here, when covering this issue, it is necessary to base yourself on facts. There are not many facts yet. They need to be established in the course of investigative actions,” he said.

Earlier on Friday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov had scolded U.S. President Joe Biden for expressing his lack of surprise that Prigozhin had been killed in a plane crash, accusing Biden of disregarding diplomatic norms.

Russian investigators have opened a probe into what happened, but have not yet said what they suspect caused the plane to suddenly fall from the sky northwest of Moscow.

Asked if the Kremlin had received official confirmation of Prigozhin’s death, Peskov said: “If you listened carefully to the Russian president’s statement, he said that all the necessary tests, including genetic tests, will now be carried out. The official results – as soon as they are ready to be published, will be published.”

Peskov, who said Putin had not met Prigozhin recently, also said it was unclear how long the tests and investigative work would take.

It was therefore impossible to start talking about whether Putin would attend Prigozhin’s funeral, Peskov said in answer to a question on the subject.

“There are no dates for the funeral yet, it is impossible to talk about it at all. The only thing I can say is that the president has a rather busy schedule at the moment.” he said


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