Russia confirms the death of Evgeny Prigozhin through genetic expertise

The death of Russian paramilitary group Wagner’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, whose plane crashed in Russia on Wednesday, has been confirmed by genetic testing, the Russian Investigative Committee announced on Sunday.

Yevgeny Prigozhin has indeed died. The death of the leader of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, whose plane crashed in Russia on Wednesday, has been confirmed by genetic testing, the Russian Investigative Committee announced on Sunday, August 27.

“The molecular genetic tests” conducted after the crash on August 23 in the Tver region “have been completed,” stated the investigative body responsible for major investigations in Russia.

It has been established that the identities of the ten victims whose bodies were found after the crash “correspond to the list” of passengers and crew members of the plane, including Prigozhin, the Investigative Committee said, without providing further details.

At this time, investigators have not mentioned any examined leads, not mentioning the possibility of an accident, a bomb, a surface-to-air missile, or pilot error.

The private jet carrying Prigozhin and his close guards crashed on Wednesday afternoon in the Tver region, northwest of Moscow, immediately raising suspicions of a politically orchestrated assassination at the highest level of Russian power.

In Washington, Paris, Berlin, or Kiev, senior officials have implied that their suspicions point directly to the Kremlin.

For its part, the Kremlin has denied ordering the assassination of Yevgeny Prigozhin, dismissing it as “speculation.”

Spontaneous Memorials

The closest ally of Moscow, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, supported the Kremlin by saying he “cannot imagine” the Russian President giving the order to assassinate the Wagner chief.

Referring to the investigation, Vladimir Putin promised on Thursday that it would be conducted “thoroughly” and would reach a conclusion.

Since the plane crash, residents of various Russian cities where the Wagner group had its training centers, from Novosibirsk in western Siberia to St. Petersburg in the northwest, have been laying flowers at spontaneous memorials for Yevgeny Prigozhin, a sign of the warlord’s popularity among certain individuals.

“His enemies killed him (…), but we hope that vengeance will reach those who committed this crime,” one of Prigozhin’s supporters said to the press, as he visited an impromptu memorial in Moscow, covered with flowers.

“Prigozhin and Outkine will remain in our history as true heroes, as an example of what kind of person you need to be,” added the man, dressed in a T-shirt decorated with a large letter “Z,” a symbol of the Russian operation in Ukraine.


Vladimir Putin had called Yevgeny Prigozhin, whom he had known since the 1990s, a “traitor” due to his armed rebellion on June 23 and 24, directed against the Russian General Staff and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, during which Wagner’s men briefly captured military sites in southern Russia before heading to Moscow.

After 24 hours of silence, he mentioned on Thursday evening that he was a “talented” man who had made “mistakes,” and also praised the role played by Wagner on the front lines in Ukraine.

Yevgeny Prigozhin had abandoned his mutiny after an agreement that included his exile with his men to Belarus and the dropping of charges.

However, he continued to visit Russia and was received at the Kremlin at least once in June.

In Ukraine, Wagner distinguished itself during the long and bloody battle for Bakhmut in the East, which was captured in May at a heavy cost.

Wagner, which left Ukraine after its rebellion, remains active in Africa, but its future is now uncertain. Everywhere it has been deployed, the group has been accused of abuses, extrajudicial executions, and torture.  AFP

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