Putin promises investigation into causes of Prigozhin plane crash

Moscow, Aug 24 (EFE).- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that the causes of a plane crash that killed Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin would be investigated.

The private plane Prigozhin was flying on crashed en route from Moscow to St Petersburg on Wednesday night, killing all 10 people on board.

“Now forensic examinations are being carried out, including technical and genetic examinations. They will take some time,” he said.

Putin, who met with the Wagner chief at the Kremlin in late June after Prigozhin had led a failed armed uprising, stressed that technical and genetic tests to identify the victims were being carried out.

While Prigozhin’s body has not yet been identified, Russian aviation authorities confirmed that he was on the passenger list.

“If they were there, and the first data says that members of the Wagner company were there, I would like to emphasize that these people made a remarkable contribution to the common cause of fighting the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine,” he said.

He added: “We remember them, we know them and we will not forget them”.

Following the failed mutiny in June, Putin accused Prigozhin of treason, before reaching an agreement after mediation by Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko to allow the Wagner chief and his mercenaries to move to a base in Belarus.

But on Thursday the Russian president said that Prigozhin “was a talented man, a capable businessman and not only in our country, because he worked with results in Africa, he was engaged in oil, gas, precious stones, metals”.

Putin also sent his condolences to the families of the other passengers who died in Wednesday’s crash.

Putin’s comments came as many analysts and independent media suggested he was behind the death of Prigozhin, who last appeared in a video purportedly recorded in Africa that was released on Monday. EFE


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