- Putin confirmed the launch of a comprehensive preliminary investigation into the incident, with ongoing technical and genetic tests for conclusive findings
- Putin acknowledged Wagner soldiers’ role in the Ukrainian war and extends condolences to their families, emphasizing their contribution against the neo-Nazi regime
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his respects to the late Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group, who tragically lost his life in a plane crash on Wednesday. Various sources report that Putin referred to Prigozhin as “a person with a complex destiny” during a televised statement.
In his address, Putin disclosed his acquaintance with Prigozhin dating back to the 1990s. While alluding to Prigozhin’s past uprising, the Russian President also acknowledged that Prigozhin had committed significant errors in his life.
He said, “This was a person with a complicated fate, and he made serious mistakes in life but also sought to achieve the necessary results – both for himself and at a time when I asked him to, for the common cause, such as in these recent months
Putin acknowledged the role played by the dead Wagner soldiers in the Ukrainian war while also sending condolences to their families.
“I would like to note that these are people who have made a significant contribution to our common cause of fighting the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine
“We remember and know it, and we will not forget it,” he continued.
According to statements from officials cited by Russia’s state news agency Tass, the crash claimed the lives of all 10 individuals aboard the aircraft, including three crew members and seven passengers.
Putin confirmed the commencement of a preliminary investigation into the incidents, remarking, “The head of the Investigative Committee reported to me this morning that they have already initiated a preliminary investigation into this occurrence. There is no doubt that this investigation will be comprehensive and thorough. We await the conclusions of the investigators in the near future. Currently, technical and genetic tests are underway, which require some time.”
In June, Yevgeny Prigozhin had orchestrated a mutiny, leading his forces from Ukraine to capture Rostov on Don in southern Russia and issuing threats of advancing to Moscow. This move followed tensions with Russian military commanders stemming from the Ukraine conflict. The situation was eventually resolved through an agreement allowing Wagner troops to relocate to Belarus or join the Russian army.
Following the mutiny, where Putin referred to him as a “traitor,” Prigozhin remained largely out of sight. His latest appearance was captured in a video from Tuesday, seemingly recorded in Africa.