Kremlin says claims it ordered Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s death an “absolute lie”
Kremlin dismissed rumours on Friday that it ordered the assassination of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, who reportedly died in an aviation incident after leading an uprising against Russia’s military leadership.
“There is a lot of speculation around the plane crash and the tragic death of the passengers, including Yevgeny Prigozhin,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters during a briefing.
“Of course, in the West, this speculation is being presented from a certain angle. All of this is an absolute lie,” Peskov said.
The crash on Wednesday occurred exactly two months after Prigozhin led a deadly rebellion against Moscow’s top brass, unrest seen by observers as having been the biggest threat to President Vladimir Putin’s long rule.
After almost 24 hours of silence, Putin on Thursday offered his “sincere condolences to the families of all the victims”.
He described Prigozhin, once a Kremlin confident and Western sanctioned businessman, as a person who had “made serious mistakes in his life, but he achieved the right results.”
The 62-year-old was registered on the plane that was carrying nine others who are also presumed to have died. Prigozhin has yet to be formally identified as among the victims.
“As soon as the results are in, they’ll be published,” Peskov said.
Asked whether Putin would attend the funeral, the Kremlin’s spokesman said a lengthy investigation would need to be completed first.
“The president’s work schedule is quite busy at the moment,” Peskov said.