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International News: Yevgeny Prigozhin, Wagner mercenary group chief, confirmed dead in plane crash

Posted: Sunday, August 27, 2023. 2:45 pm CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: As reported by Yahoo News, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leading figure of the Wagner private military group, has been confirmed dead in a plane crash last week, Russian investigators announced today. Genetic testing validated the identity of all 10 victims of the crash, dismissing speculations that Prigozhin might have escaped the incident.

The private jet, carrying both Prigozhin and his right-hand man, Dmitry Utkin, crashed in the Tver region, northwest of Moscow. While the cause of the crash remains undisclosed, rumors and speculation abound, given Prigozhin’s history of elaborate security measures and recent political events.

This tragic incident follows two months after Prigozhin and his Wagner mercenaries led a revolt against Russian military officials. The mutiny culminated in the takeover of Rostov, a southern city, with the mercenaries advancing almost to Moscow’s doorstep before retreating.

Muscovites have since been seen mourning at a spontaneous memorial near the Kremlin, paying homage to Prigozhin and Utkin. “Such people remain in history as an example,” commented Dmitry Karpov, a mourner dressed in military attire.

Yet, Prigozhin’s legacy is fraught with complexity. While some laud him as a hero, others highlight his contentious relationship with President Vladimir Putin. Putin had previously criticized Prigozhin for the mutiny, terming it a “stab in the back.” However, Putin also sent condolences post-crash, highlighting Prigozhin’s mixed reputation.

Rumors from the West suggest that Putin might have orchestrated Prigozhin’s death as retribution for the mutiny, which posed the most significant threat to Putin’s leadership since he assumed office in 1999. Such speculations were swiftly denied by Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov.

The Wagner group, closely associated with Prigozhin, was instrumental during the conflicts in eastern Ukraine, specifically in the prolonged siege of Bakhmut. Despite their substantial influence and recent relocation to Belarus after the mutiny, the future remains uncertain for the mercenaries. With Prigozhin’s sudden demise, a vacuum emerges, leading to potential tensions and restructuring within the group.

While Putin acknowledged Prigozhin’s business acumen, he also underscored his significant life “mistakes.” As the world watches, the true nature and implications of this crash and its fallout will continue to unravel.

 

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