‘Total lie’ Russia killed Prigozhin – Kremlin
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday dismissed what he called unfounded speculation by some media in the West that Moscow may have been behind the crash of Wagner head Evgeny Prigozhin’s plane.
“There is a lot of speculation about that plane crash and the tragic deaths of the passengers, among whom was Evgeny Prigozhin,” Peskov told reporters at the daily press briefing. “In the West, all that speculation is being presented from a certain angle. It’s all a total lie.”
Peskov asked the media to rely on facts, “which as of this moment are few, as they have to be uncovered by the ongoing investigation.” He also reminded reporters that President Putin had promised a thorough investigation, including the DNA testing of the remains.
“There are no official results as of yet. The moment they are ready to be made public, they will be,” Peskov said.
The Embraer 135BJ Legacy 600 private jet was en route from Moscow to St. Petersburg on Wednesday when it crashed in Tver Region. There were ten people on board, seven passengers and three crew members. None survived. Authorities are still working to identify the bodies.
Prigozhin’s name was on the passenger manifest, along with Dmitry ‘Wagner’ Utkin, whose call sign gave the private military company its moniker. Officially, however, the Wagner Group PMC does not exist.
Putin commented on Prigozhin’s reported death on Thursday, calling him a man of “complicated destiny” whom he had known since the early 1990s. The Russian president touched on Prigozhin’s business deals in both Russia and Africa and thanked him and Wagner for what they had done in the Ukraine conflict.
He did not touch on the failed Wagner mutiny at the end of June, after which much of the outfit was disbanded, with the remainder moving to Belarus, along with Prigozhin.