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Putin: Prigozhin's Plane Crash Sabotage


Nepalnews
ANI
2023 Oct 06, 10:24, Moscow [Russia]
File Photo: ANI

Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that the plane crash that killed the head of the Wagner mercenary force, Yevgeny Prigozhin, happened as hand grenades exploded inside the aircraft, reported Al Jazeera.

He said that Prigozhin's plane was not hit by a missile as rumoured, and was rather blown up from inside.

Putin further said that the head of Russia's investigative committee had found traces of explosives in the bodies of those people who died in the crash.

On August 23, Prigozhin died in an airplane crash in Russia's western Tver region exactly two months after leading an abortive mutiny in Moscow that posed the greatest threat to Russian President Vladimir Putin's authority in his 23 years in power.

Putin speaking at a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in the Black Sea resort of Sochi said, "Fragments of hand grenades were found in the bodies of those killed in the crash."

"There was no external impact on the plane - this is already an established fact," Putin added while reacting to the claims made by the US officials who believed that the plane was shot down.

Notably, Prigozhin was confirmed dead by Russian investigators on August 27. He was among the 10 people killed when their plane crashed on August 23. Two other top Wagner figures, Prigozhin's four bodyguards and a crew of three were also killed.

However, Putin did not give any other details about the detonation of grenades.

Moreover, he also said that he thought investigators were wrong in not carrying out alcohol and drug tests on the bodies of those who died in the crash.

"In my opinion, such an examination should have been carried out, but it was not," Putin said.

Russian President further claimed that following the searches of Wagner's offices in St. Petersburg after the crash, 10 billion roubles (USD 100 million) in cash and 5 kg (11 pounds) of cocaine were found.

However, the investigators have not yet publicly announced these findings, reported Al Jazeera.

The investigators of the crash have yet to report publicly on their findings.

The crash came exactly two months after Prigozhin -- who was once called President Vladimir Putin's "personal chef" -- led an armed insurrection against the Russian leader.

Moreover, Moscow rejected an offer from Brazil, where the Embraer business jet was built, to join the crash inquiry.

Meanwhile, a preliminary US intelligence assessment stated that an intentional explosion caused the crash, moreover, the Western officials pointed out the list of Puti foes who have been assassinated to date.

The Kremlin rejected the assertions that the Wagner mercenary chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin was killed at the direction of the Russian government as an "absolute lie".

The fate of Wagner has been unclear since Prigozhin's death. according to Al Jazeera.

Following his death, Putin ordered Wagner fighters to sign contracts with Russia's defence ministry, which was earlier opposed by Prigozhin and his men.

Prior to his death, Prigozhin accused Russia's military leaders, particularly Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov, of incompetence and warned that Russia could lose the war in Ukraine unless it raised its game.

Putin said that Prigozhin was a talented man who made "mistakes" and the Wagner crash victims made a "significant contribution" in Ukraine. He further added that the Wagner chief was "a man of difficult fate". 

READ ALSO:

russia Vladimir Putin Yevgeny Prigozhin hand grenades Explosion plane crash Kremlin Wagner mercenary
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