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Russia's Investigative Committee officially confirmed the death of Wagner Group's leaders Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin following a DNA test of their bodies, Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti reported on Aug. 27.
Prigozhin and Utkin were among the passengers of a private jet that crashed over Tver Oblast on Aug. 23. All 10 people aboard the plane perished.
The cause of the crash remains unclear. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told reporters on Aug. 24 that Ukraine did not orchestrate the crash, but added that "everyone understands" who is behind it.
The likely cause was a bomb onboard or "some other form of sabotage," according to unnamed U.S. officials cited by the Wall Street Journal on Aug. 24.
Moscow did not acknowledge shooting down the plane.
On Aug. 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed Prigoshin’s death, saying that "he made mistakes."
Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner Group mercenary company, took the lead in Russia's assault on Bakhmut.
But after a prolonged spat with Russia's Defense Ministry, Prigozhin ordered his troops to seize government buildings in Russia's Rostov and race towards Moscow before eventually calling off the mutiny.
Following an undisclosed deal allegedly brokered by Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, the warlord was allowed to walk free and has recently released a video claiming to be in Africa.
The Institute for the Study of War reported that Putin is trying to dissolve the unit while Prigozhin was fighting to keep it alive.