Moscow, Aug 25 (EFE).- The Kremlin on Friday dismissed Western media accusations that Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was killed in a plane crash on its order.
“All of them are absolute lies,” Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in a virtual press conference held after a gap of three weeks.
“Naturally, there are many speculations over this plane crash, and the tragic death of the passengers, including Yevgeny Prigozhin,” said Peskov, as per the state-run TASS news agency.
The spokesperson accused the West of “selling these speculations from a certain angle.”
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko also ruled out Russian President Vladimir Putin’s role in the mysterious crash that killed Prigozhin and nine others onboard the private jet Wednesday.
“I cannot say who did it. I am not going to act as a lawyer, not even for my older brother. But I know Putin (…) That is why I cannot imagine that Putin has done it, that Putin is guilty,” Lukashenko said, according to the official BELTA news agency.
The Belarusian leader said he did not have to “guarantee Prigozhin’s safety” when he mediated after the mercenary chief rebelled against the Kremlin in June.
Prigozhin visited Belarus in recent weeks, where the Wagnerites are setting their new base and are training Belarusian special units near the border with Poland.
In Moscow, Peskov cited President Putin, who said on Thursday that he was waiting for the probe results into the crash.
The spokesperson said the investigation “will be completed in the foreseeable future.”
Asked about the future of Wagner, the private mercenary force headed by Prigozhin, the spokesperson said he had no information.
On Thursday, Putin broke his silence 24 hours after the crash.
He called the Wagner chief “a talented man” and businessman who “made serious mistakes in his life, but achieved the right results.”
Putin’s comments came after several analysts and media outlets suggested he could be behind the crash that killed Prigozhin, last seen in a video supposedly shot in Africa.
Putin called the Wagner chief a traitor after he mutinied in June.
Prigozhin marched his troops around 200 km from Moscow before reaching an agreement that moved the mercenaries to Belarus. EFE