MOSCOW: The death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner paramilitary group, following a plane crash on Wednesday has been confirmed by formal genetic analysis, Russia’s investigative committee said today.
“Molecular-genetic examinations have been completed as part of the investigation into the plane crash in the Tver region,” investigative committee spokesman Svetlana Petrenko said.
“According to their results, the identities of all 10 victims were established, they correspond to the flight list,” she added.
Among the other nine people listed onboard the Embraer private jet was Dmitry Utkin, a shadowy figure who managed Wagner’s operations and allegedly served in Russian military intelligence.
Speculation the Kremlin may have been involved in Wednesday’s crash has been rife, with the incident coming exactly two months after Wagner staged a mutiny against Moscow’s military leadership.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the incident as “tragic” to reporters on Friday, calling rumours of possible foul play an “absolute lie”.
Russian officials opened an investigation into air traffic violations after the crash but have otherwise not disclosed details about the possible cause.