Home World The Kremlin admits that the death of Wagner’s mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin may not have been accidental

The Kremlin admits that the death of Wagner’s mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin may not have been accidental

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The Kremlin admits that the death of Wagner’s mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin may not have been accidental

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that the accident that caused the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the commander of the Wagner special military force who died in Russia last week, may have been the result of a “deliberate mistake”.

Investigators have not yet determined an official cause, but “different versions” of what happened are being considered, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

“Let’s put it this way, willful wrongdoing,” Peskov told reporters during his daily conference call.

He added that the Russian investigation committee had not yet completed its investigation into the wreckage. The commission opened a criminal case last week for violating flight safety, the default charge used in investigations of plane crashes in Russia when there is no suspicion of foul play.

Russia abandons Prigozhin plane crash investigation under international rules: Report

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Some experts speculate that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the assassination, but the Kremlin has denied involvement in the incident. (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Kremlin spokesman said an international investigation could not take place, which Brazil’s Center for Aviation Accidents Research and Prevention pushed through UN civil aviation rules.

Prigozhin and several of his top aides, including his second-in-command and head of logistics for Wagner, were among the 10 people who boarded a business jet that crashed midway between Moscow and St. Petersburg last Wednesday, August 23. Crashes.

Moscow's photo

Spasskaya Tower in the Kremlin, center, and St. Basil’s Cathedral in downtown Moscow, on April 1, 2023. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images)

The incident was immediately met with speculation that it may have been intentional as it occurred exactly two months after Prigozhin made an armed march towards Moscow to protest against the Russian military leadership.

White House pointing finger at Russia in Prigozhin’s death: ‘What happened here is very clear’

The incident was considered the largest armed rebellion against the authority of President Vladimir Putin during his 23-year rule.

Some experts speculate that Putin ordered the assassination, but the Kremlin has denied any involvement in the incident.

Accident, smoke

Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin died when a private plane he was in crashed on August 23, 2023, killing all 10 people on board. (AP image)

Ukraine, which Russia invaded last year and continues the war against, has also denied involvement.

Putin said the passengers had “made a significant contribution” to the fighting in Ukraine.

Yevgeny Prigozhin

Yevgeny Prigozhin records a video address in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, June 24, 2023. (Prigozhin’s press service via AP)

“We remember this, we know, and we will not forget,” he said.

Putin does not plan to attend Prigozhin’s funeral

Prigozhin was buried in his hometown of Saint Petersburg, with a private ceremony.

Prigozhin's party

A portrait of Yevgeny Prigozhin placed on flowers at his grave at Porokhovskoye Cemetery in Saint Petersburg, on Wednesday, August 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

The event was kept secret until Tuesday evening, when the spokesman for the mercenary leader revealed the location of his grave.

Nor is it immediately clear why so many high-ranking members of Wagner, who are usually cautious about their security, would board the same flight.

Moscow's photo

A young woman lights a candle as others stand at an informal memorial in the street for members of the Wagner Group killed in a plane crash, near the Kremlin in Moscow, Tuesday, August 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlyanichenko)

It took days before the Kremlin confirmed that Prigozhin had died in the accident.

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An initial US intelligence assessment concluded that a deliberate explosion caused the crash. Eyewitnesses at the scene confirmed that a powerful explosion occurred before the plane crashed, and a video clip at the scene shows the plane, which was severely damaged and fell from the sky.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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