The genetic testing of the remains discovered subsequent to the crash of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private plane last week has conclusively identified them as belonging to the leader of the Wagner Group, as stated by Russian investigators on Sunday.
The incident resulted in the tragic demise of ten individuals as the aircraft descended abruptly near Kuzhenkino, situated north of Moscow, on August 23. Through DNA examinations, it has been verified that the recovered remains correspond to all ten individuals listed as passengers, as confirmed by Russia’s Investigative Committee on Sunday.
Preliminary findings from an initial inquiry indicated that the crash potentially resulted from an explosion onboard the aircraft, potentially a strategically placed explosive device, as relayed by U.S. officials to ABC News the previous week.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, a business figure who gained prominence as an influential international paramilitary leader following his favorable standing with Putin, met his demise merely two months after spearheading a daylong insurrection against the Moscow regime.
Wagner Group forces, hailing from Ukraine conflict zones, redirected from their Rostov-on-Don base in close proximity to the southern border and commenced an advance towards the capital on June 23. However, this movement was swiftly reversed within a day.
Subsequent weeks were characterized by conjecture concerning Prigozhin’s whereabouts. Initial reports alluded to his sanctuary in neighboring Belarus, facilitated by an accord with Putin and brokered by Alexander Lukashenko. Subsequently, reports suggested a Kremlin meeting between Prigozhin and Putin.
The verified passing of Prigozhin holds significant implications for the Wagner Group, a faction notorious for alleged human rights violations and wartime transgressions in various global territories.
Financing for the group is attributed to Prigozhin, recognized colloquially as “Putin’s chef” due to his culinary ventures. He has previously been subjected to sanctions by the European Union and the United States for his involvement with the Wagner Group.
The circumstances behind the plane crash remain subject to ongoing inquiry, though U.S. authorities lean towards the hypothesis of an onboard explosion. Such a conjecture underscores the notion that the crash was a calculated event rather than an inadvertent occurrence.
The demise of Prigozhin is a significant juncture in the Wagner Group narrative. The aftermath on the group remains uncertain, but it is evident that this event has inflicted a substantial setback.
Some Additional information:
- The aircraft in question was an Embraer Legacy 600 designated for private use.
- Its departure was from Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport with St. Petersburg as its intended destination.
- The crash transpired at approximately 6:15 p.m. local time.
- The precise cause of the crash is currently under investigation.
- The remains of all ten passengers onboard have been successfully retrieved.