Putin sends condolences to family of Yevgeny Prigozhin

Vladimir Putin has sent his condolences to the family of the Wagner group head, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Kremlin has said, adding that it did not know when the warlord’s funeral would take place and whether the Russian president would attend.

“The Kremlin does not yet have information about the format and date of Prigozhin’s funeral, so there can be no answer to the question of whether Putin will attend it,” Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said, speaking to journalists during his daily call.

“As soon as a decision is made, it will be communicated to the public. Such decisions are always made together with the relatives,” Peskov added.


Meanwhile, Genetic testing has identified all those listed as aboard the Wagner leader’s doomed flight, the Investigative Committee has said.

Russia’s Investigative Committee has confirmed the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of private military company Wagner Group, in a plane crash earlier this week.


In a statement on Sunday, Svetlana Petrenko, the committee’s chief spokesperson, said that Russian investigators had completed DNA testing of the bodies of those who were on board the Embraer 135BJ Legacy 600 plane. The jet went down in Tver Region on Wednesday as it was flying from Moscow to St. Petersburg.

“The identities of all 10 of the deceased have been established, [and] they correspond to the flight list,” Petrenko said.


The document in question had already been shared by Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency and listed Prigozhin and several other high-ranking Wagner operatives, including Dmitry Utkin – said to be the co-founder of the PMC – and Valery Chekalov, who was widely considered to be Wagner’s head of logistics.

The flight crew – two pilots and an air-hostess – have also been proclaimed dead.


Prigozhin, who was thought to be a confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin, grabbed headlines after the start of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022, when his PMC took an active role in hostilities, most notably in the fighting around the key Donbass stronghold of Artyomovsk (also known as Bakhmut).

The Wagner chief repeatedly criticized the Russian Defense Ministry, and in late June, he accused it of shelling a field camp belonging to his men and announced a ‘march of justice’ on Moscow in a bid to purge allegedly corrupt officials. However, Prigozhin’s mutiny turned out to be short-lived, and ended with a deal brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Putin sends condolences to family of Yevgeny Prigozhin
Putin sends condolences to family of Yevgeny Prigozhin

Just last week, Prigozhin released a video apparently filmed in Africa. At the time, he said that the Wagner Group had reopened recruitment, and was conducting “reconnaissance and search activities” against “ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other bandits.”

On Thursday, commenting on the Prigozhin plane crash, Putin described the businessman as a “talented” man of “complicated destiny” who made a significant contribution to the fight against neo-Nazis in Ukraine.


Several Wagner members said they did not know when and where Prigozhin’s funeral would be held.

“We have not been told anything. I hope he gets the farewell that he deserves,” one Wagner soldier who fought with the group in Ukraine said, speaking on condition of anonymity.


Makeshift memorials have sprung up across the country, with tearful visitors leaving flowers and other tributes to Prigozhin. In St Petersburg, one Wagner fighter identified as Yuri Novikov was detained after shooting in the air with an AK-47. Local media reports said Novikov was distressed about the death of Prigozhin.

Several channels on the Telegram messaging app close to Prigozhin have speculated that “enemies within Russia” had him killed in retaliation for his brief mutiny against Russia’s military leadership in June. The Wagner group has not yet issued an official statement following Prigozhin’s death.


One Telegram account with links to Prigozhin suggested the warlord’s funeral may take place on Tuesday at a cemetery for Wagner fighters in the Krasnodar area of southern Russia.

Others have speculated that an event would be organised in Prigozhin’s home town of St Petersburg. The St Petersburg outlet Fontanka reported he could be buried either at the Bogoslovsky or Serofimov cemeteries in the city.

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