The Kremlin mentioned on Wednesday that they are thinking about whether the plane carrying Yevgeny Prigozhin, a leader of mercenaries, was purposely brought down. This is the first time they’ve suggested that he might have been killed on purpose.
A spokesperson from the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, said, “They are thinking about different possibilities, like the idea – you know what we mean – maybe a planned act of violence.” This was shared with reporters when they asked about the investigation.
When questioned if the International Civil Aviation Organization would investigate, Peskov said it’s different because of the circumstances. But he also said that investigators haven’t officially decided what exactly happened yet.
“Let’s wait for the results of the investigation in Russia,” Peskov added.
The private jet Prigozhin crashed near Moscow on August 23, killing everyone on board, including other important Wagner group members, his bodyguards, and the crew.
The exact reason for the crash isn’t known, but people living nearby said they heard a loud noise and then saw the plane crash.
The crash happened exactly two months after Prigozhin took control of the city of Rostov, which started a big disagreement in Russia.
Russia told Brazil’s aircraft investigation authority that they won’t be investigating the crash of the Brazilian-made jet according to international rules “for now,” as said by the Brazilian agency.
Peskov talked about this report saying, “Firstly, the investigation is ongoing, the Investigative Committee is looking into it.”
He also said, “There can’t be any talk of international involvement in this case.”
The Interstate Aviation Committee, which takes care of aviation accident investigations for several former Soviet countries, including Russia, said they aren’t looking into this crash and won’t be talking about the “details of the incident.”
The day after the crash, Putin sent his condolences and talked about how he had known Prigozhin for a long time.
“He had a tough life, and he made serious mistakes,” Putin said, while also praising his business skills.
The Kremlin denied claims from Western politicians that Putin had something to do with Prigozhin’s death.
After Prigozhin died, Putin ordered Wagner fighters to pledge loyalty to Russia, which Prigozhin didn’t like because he was angry at the defense ministry and thought Russia could lose the Ukraine war.
Prigozhin’s followers left flowers and messages at his grave, seeing him as a brave warrior.
In his lifetime, Prigozhin claimed to be one of the most feared mercenaries and had a powerful fighting group.
Critics, like the United States, saw Prigozhin as a harsh leader who harmed African countries and used extreme violence against those who opposed him.
Even though he won a major battle in Ukraine for Putin by capturing Bakhmut, Prigozhin got mad at Putin’s military for what he saw as betrayal and warned that Russia could lose the entire Ukraine war.