Russian investigators confirm Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin killed in plane crash

Ovchinnikova Irina /

The Russian Investigative Committee has officially confirmed the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder and leader of the Russian paramilitary organization Wagner Group, in a plane crash following the release of genetic analysis results.

The Investigative Committee of Russia released a statement on August 27, 2023, asserting that the identification of all 10 bodies retrieved from the crash site has been successfully completed.

“As part of the investigation of the plane crash in the Tver region, molecular genetic examinations have been completed,” the committee said. “Based on their results, the identities of all 10 dead have been established, they correspond to the list stated in the passenger manifest.”

Russia’s civil aviation authority had previously revealed that Yevgeny Prigozhin, alongside several high-ranking associates, was among the listed passengers aboard the ill-fated plane that crashed on August 23, 2023.

The details surrounding the crash have ignited suspicions that deliberate actions could have been taken to eliminate Prigozhin and his associates, who were involved in a thwarted rebellion against Moscow in June 2023. Anonymous US intelligence sources hinted that the crash was caused by an intentional explosion, though the Pentagon said that there was no sign of a surface-to-air missile being used to down the aircraft.

The Kremlin, in response to speculations, firmly denied any involvement in the death of Prigozhin. Additionally, the Russian authorities have called upon members of the Wagner Group to pledge their allegiance to the nation, marking a clear stance in the aftermath of their recent attempt at a military coup.

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