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‘He was a person with a complex fate’ Putin comments on Yevgeny Prigozhin’s apparent death nearly 24 hours after plane crash
Nearly 24 hours after a plane with Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin on board crashed in Russia’s Tver region, President Vladimir Putin has made his first public statement.
Expressing his condolences to the families of the deceased, Putin called the crash a “tragedy.” He also noted that members of Wagner mercenary group who had “made a significant contribution” to Russia’s war in Ukraine were among the plane’s passengers.
Putin then recalled his longstanding relationship with Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner Group’s founder:
“I knew Prigozhin for a very long time, since the early 1990s. He was a person with a complex fate, and he made serious mistakes in his life, but he got the necessary results. Both for himself and, when I asked him to, for a common cause, as in these last months. He was a talented person, a talented businessman.”
Russia’s Investigative Committee has already begun a preliminary investigation into the cause of the crash, Putin said. “Technical and genetic analysis is currently being carried out. This takes some time,” he added.
Earlier, Russia’s aviation authority reported that all 10 people aboard the plane died in Wednesday’s crash. Both Prigozhin and the Wagner Group’s first commander and namesake, Dmitry “Wagner” Utkin, were listed on the flight manifest and are presumed dead.
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