HomeTop StoriesWagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, Putin ally turned rival, believed to have died...

Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, Putin ally turned rival, believed to have died in plane crash

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the former Russian prisoner and restorer who founded the Wagner mercenary army, is presumed dead after a plane he was allegedly traveling in crashed in a field between Moscow and St. Petersburg, his hometown.

The Russian Civil Aviation Agency said Prigozhin’s name was on the flight manifest of the Embraer private jet, along with three crew members and six other passengers, and Russian emergency services said ten bodies were recovered in the crash. Telegram channels linked to Wagner also said that Prigozhin died in the crash.

Video of the plane going down appears to show a missing wing and other signs of an explosion, and there is widespread speculation that the plane was brought down in retaliation for Wagner’s brief mutiny, which began two months to the day before the crash. The mutiny humiliated Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prigozhin’s former patron, and posed the greatest threat to his power in decades.

See also  Behind all speeches at the UN lies a fundamental, unspoken question: is the world governable?

Among the others presumed dead is Prigozhin’s top lieutenant, Wagner commander Dmitri Utkin. Utkins nom de guerre, Wagner — a reference to Richard Wagner, Adolf Hitler’s favorite composer — inspired the name for the mercenary army, The New York Times reported.

“Prigozhin’s death sends an unnerving signal to the country’s elite, who insiders and Western intelligence officials say have become increasingly unhappy with Putin, his handling of the mutiny earlier this summer and his overall handling of the war” in Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal added.

Wagner’s troops gave Putin his only military victory this year, the capture of Bakhmut, but it was quickly followed by Wagner’s withdrawal from Ukraine and his march on Moscow. After the mutiny, which ended in a deal that sent Wagner troops into exile in Belarus, Prigozhin largely disappeared from view. Earlier this week, he posted his first recruitment video in months, supposedly from Africa, where Wagner was active.

See also  Woman Arrested During Majestic Valley Arena Brawl Changes Plea

You may also like this


- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments