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‘Just a regular VIP funeral’ Yevgeny Prigozhin was buried in St. Petersburg without military honors. Instead, a few cryptic lines of Joseph Brodsky were placed by his grave.
An invitation-only ceremony for the mutinous Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin took place in St. Petersburg today. Prigozhin and a number of his associates were killed on August 23, together with the entire crew of his executive jet, when it crashed in Russia’s Tver region while en route from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
“Those who wish to say farewell can visit the Porokhovskoye Cemetery,” said a press release posted on Telegram by Prigozhin’s publicity department at the Concord management company. The announcement appeared when the cemetery had already closed after its regular hours. Concord later confirmed to Interfax that its former CEO is buried at that cemetery.
Photos published by the Telegram news channel Shot show a piece of paper placed near the fresh grave. The lines of poetry on that page come from Joseph Brodsky’s poem “Still Life.” They read: “As I step on a threshold, / I know not nor decide: / Are you my son — or God? / Are you dead — or alive?”
Buried without pomp next to his father, Prigozhin did not get the military honors that his Hero of Russia medal entitled him to, the news outlet Agentstvo reported, citing a cemetery employee. The same staff member told the publication that only 20–30 people had been in attendance, none of them in military uniform. “I’ve been in this industry for over 30 years,” said the funeral worker, “and this was nothing unusual, just a regular VIP funeral.”
After the funeral, the cemetery was secured by National Guard troops, the local outlet Fontanka writes.
All plans for the upcoming funeral had been kept secret. According to city officials, the event had been classified, and no one was informed about it, apart from those directly involved in organizing and managing the funeral. A St. Petersburg city administration member said everyone with information about the ceremony had to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
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