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Zelensky: 'Everyone understands' who is behind Prigozhin's reported death

by Martin Fornusek August 24, 2023 2:48 PM 2 min read
Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis meets with President Volodymyr Zelensky at Maximos Mansion in Athens, on Aug. 21, 2023. (Photo by ARIS OIKONOMOU/SOOC/AFP via Getty Images)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Aug. 24 that Ukraine was not involved in the reported death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner Group's founder who was listed as a passenger of a private jet that had crashed in Russia, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported.

"We have no connection to this. Everyone understands who does," Zelensky told reporters in Kyiv.

The private Embraer Legacy aircraft crashed near the village of Kuzhenkino in Tver Oblast while flying from Moscow to St. Petersburg on the evening of Aug. 23, reportedly killing all 10 people on board.

Prigozhin, who had launched a short-lived rebellion against the Kremlin in late June, is presumed to be among the dead.

According to the Institute for the Study of War, Putin "almost certainly ordered the Russian military command to shoot down Prigozhin's plane." The cause of the crash and the warlord's death are yet to be confirmed, however.

The Russian media have reported that all 10 bodies have been found and transported to Tver for a forensic examination.  

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the Head of the Presidential Office, commented that "it is obvious that Putin does not forgive anyone for his own bestial terror."

"The demonstrative elimination of Prigozhin and the Wagner command two months after the coup attempt is a signal from Putin to Russia's elites ahead of the 2024 elections. 'Beware! Disloyalty equals death,'" the official wrote on the platform X (formerly known as Twitter).

Russian media: Private jet crashes in Russia, warlord Prigozhin listed among passengers
A private plane has reportedly crashed in Russia’s Tver Oblast, with the Wagner Group’s boss Yevgeny Prigozhin listed as one of the passengers, the state-owned news agency TASS reported on Aug. 23.
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