Wagner jet crash: DNA test confirms death of mercenary boss Prigozhin

Russian authorities confirm death of mercenary leader Prigozhin

Sunday, August 27, 1:10 p.m.: Four days after a mysterious plane crash, Russian authorities have officially confirmed the death of the head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin. The Tass agency reported this on Sunday, citing the State Investigative Committee. After identifying all ten victims of a plane crash, it is clear that Prigozhin is one of them.

“As part of the clarification of the plane crash in the Tver region, molecular-genetic expertise was carried out,” the investigative committee said. “According to their results, the identities of all ten dead have been established. It corresponds to the published passenger list.”

After the plane crash, news of Prigozhin’s death was based primarily on the fact that his name was on the airline’s list. The military leader of the mercenary troupe, the ex-secret service officer Dmitry Utkin, and other leading figures of Wagner were also killed.

The cause of the crash is not officially clear. However, large parts of the Russian public and Western governments assume that the private jet was deliberately brought down. Priogoshin (62) had instigated a mutiny against the Russian military and state leadership two months earlier in June. President Vladimir Putin called him a traitor at the time.

Black box and debris recovered from Prigozhin jet

7:42 p.m.: Two days after the alleged death of Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin in a plane crash, the flight recorders and debris from the plane have been taken away for investigation. This was reported by the state news agency Ria on Friday from the accident site in the Tver region. The central investigative committee in Moscow informed about the salvage of the flight recorders, the evaluation of which could provide conclusions about the cause of the crash. A Ria video showed a large piece of wreckage being driven away wrapped in a truck.

Ten bodies were found at the crash site, and the identity of the dead is now being clarified using molecular-genetic analysis, the investigators in Moscow said on Friday evening. The investigations also continued at the crash site itself, it said.

The debris would be taken to an army vehicle repair shop, the Kremlin-affiliated newspaper Izvestia reported. On the Telegram channel of the Russian military blogger Rybar, a video showed how a wing of the business jet was pulled out of a dense forest.

Lukashenko sees no fault with Putin – Wagner troupe stays in Belarus

5.40 p.m.: Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko sees no possible involvement of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin in the alleged killing of mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. His private army Wagner should remain in Belarus. According to the state news agency Belta, Putin could not be behind the crash of Prigozhin’s private jet on Wednesday. “This is far too rough, unprofessional work,” said Lukashenko. Even two days after the crash, the cause was still not clear. It is suspected that an explosive device was on board.

“I know Putin. This is a calculating, very calm and even hesitant person even when making decisions on other, less difficult issues. That’s why I can’t imagine that Putin did that, that it’s Putin’s fault,” Lukashenko said. In doing so, he was reacting to accusations, primarily from the West, that Putin could have got rid of his adversary Prigozhin. The Kremlin denies that. Lukashenko is himself politically, economically and financially dependent on Putin.

After Prigozhin’s failed uprising against Moscow’s military leadership two months ago, his Wagner army moved into quarters in Belarus at the invitation of Lukashenko. The troops now remain in Belarus. “Wagner lived, Wagner lives, and Wagner will live in Belarus, even if someone doesn’t like it,” emphasized Lukashenko. He and Prigozhin would have built a system for stationing Wagner together. Lukashenko also rejected Western reports that Wagner was tearing down his tents in Belarus. Up to 10,000 Wagner fighters should come in the next few days, he said.

Prigozhin was probably not on the first passenger list of the crashed plane

4.50 p.m.: Apparently, the crew of the plane that crashed on the way from Moscow to St. Petersburg only found out shortly before take-off that Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin was also supposed to be on board. Referring to an anonymous source, the Telegram channel “VChK-OGPU” writes that originally there were only three people on the passenger list – among them Dimitri Utkin, but not Prigozhin. The list was sent to the airline by the Wagner log service the night before the flight.

They were supposed to board the machine named RA-02795 on Wednesday afternoon. The people who were later registered were Prigozhin, his two bodyguards and security officer Valeriy Chekalow.

It was only at 2:25 p.m., around three hours before departure, that there was a message in the airline manager’s Telegram chat informing them that the passenger list had been expanded. The plane took off with a delay of 15 minutes, the last message in the chat was at 5:40 p.m. The plane was on the runway.

Debris from Prigozhin’s crashed jet is removed

4:45 p.m.: Two days after the alleged death of Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin in a plane crash, the wreckage of the plane has been taken away for investigation. This was reported by the state news agency Ria on Friday from the accident site in the Tver region. A video from the agency showed how a large piece of wreckage was driven away on a truck covered. The parts would be taken to an army vehicle repair shop, the Kremlin-affiliated newspaper Izvestia reported.

On the Telegram channel of the Russian military blogger Rybar, a video showed how a wing of the business jet was pulled out of a dense forest.

The Embraer Legacy 600 machine crashed on Wednesday evening about halfway between Moscow and St. Petersburg. According to the passenger list, Prigozhin and other leaders of Wagner’s private army are among the ten victims. An official confirmation of his death is still pending. According to reports from other military bloggers, the bodies found were already examined on Thursday.

Kremlin denies responsibility for Prigozhin’s death

12:28 p.m.: Speaking to the BBC, Russia has dismissed allegations of responsibility for the death of Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin as a “complete lie”.

Before the crash of Prigozhin’s flight, a flight attendant reported on work on the jet

12:00 p.m.: The rumors and speculations about the crash of Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private jet are not coming to an end. Now the family of a flight attendant who died in the crash spoke up. Before departure, she told her family about work on the machine.

How “RTL” reported that the flight attendant was on board according to the passenger list. Before Wagner boss Prigozhin’s private jet took off, she told her relatives about “strange repairs” on the plane.

A short time later the plane crashes. The flight attendant herself shouldn’t have been on board at all. Your airline had offered the flight attendant two flight options. She chose the one with Prigozhin’s private jet. The 39-year-old is said to have been the only woman on board that day, according to Russian media.

US Department of Defense contradicts missile theory

9:44 p.m.: The United States sees no evidence that the plane carrying Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. There was “no information to suggest there was a surface-to-air missile,” US Defense Department spokesman Pat Ryder said at a Pentagon news briefing on Thursday. Reports of a missile are “false”. However, he could not provide any information about the cause of the crash.

The plane crashed on Wednesday evening in the Tver region near the town of Kuschenkino. According to the Ministry of Disaster Management, none of the ten occupants survived. The Russian aviation authority Rozaviatsiya confirmed at the same time that Prigozhin was on board the plane en route from Moscow to St. Petersburg. However, the authorities did not formally announce the mercenary chief’s death because the bodies have not yet been identified.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Prigozhin openly challenged with a brief rebellion in June, expressed his condolences to “the families of all the victims” on Thursday. At the same time, he described Prigozhin as a “capable” man who had made “serious mistakes”.

Investigations into a possible explosion in the aircraft

7 p.m.: An explosion in the jet itself reportedly caused Prigozhin’s plane to crash. That reports the New York Times” with reference to American and Western officials. According to preliminary intelligence reports, all passengers on board died.

A final conclusion has not yet been drawn. But an explosion is the leading theory behind the cause of the plane crash. The blast could have been caused by a bomb or other device placed on the plane, although other theories, such as adulterated fuel, are being investigated, officials said.

Putin confirms death of Wagner boss

6:10 p.m.: Putin spoke for the first time about the plane crash near Moscow. In his statement, Putin expresses his condolences for the ten people who are said to have died in the crash, including Wagner boss Prigozhin. He called Prigozhin a “talented businessman” with a difficult fate, Russian agencies reported on Thursday.

Prigozhin was a “capable” man who had made “serious mistakes”. The Russian President carefully formulated that, according to initial findings, a plane carrying members of Wagner’s private army had crashed the previous evening. Wagner made an important contribution to the fighting in Ukraine that will not be forgotten.

Prigozhin “was a man with a complicated fate, who made serious mistakes in his life, but achieved the necessary results,” Putin said at a televised meeting. He announced a comprehensive investigation into the crash. This has already begun, but will take a while, he said at a meeting with Donetsk’s Russian head of administration, Denis Puschilin.

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