Russia says genetic tests confirm Prigozhin died in plane crash

By Reuters   August 27, 2023 | 03:35 am PT
Russia says genetic tests confirm Prigozhin died in plane crash
Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of Russian private mercenary group Wagner, gives an address in camouflage and with a weapon in his hands in a desert area at an unknown location, in this still image taken from video possibly shot in Africa and published August 21, 2023. Courtesy PMC Wagner via Telegram via Reuters
Russian investigators said on Sunday that genetic tests had confirmed that Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of the Wagner mercenary group, was among the 10 people killed in a plane crash last Wednesday.

Russia's aviation agency had previously published the names of all 10 people on board the private jet which crashed in the Tver region northwest of Moscow.

They included Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin, his right-hand man who helped found the Wagner group.

"As part of the investigation of the plane crash in the Tver region, molecular-genetic examinations have been completed," Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement on its site on the Telegram messaging app.

"According to their results, the identities of all 10 dead were established. They correspond to the list stated in the flight sheet," it said.

The private jet crashed two months to the day after Prigozhin led an abortive mutiny against Russia's army top brass.President Vladimir Putin described that mutiny as a treacherous "stab in the back", but later met with Prigozhin in the Kremlin.

He sent his condolences on Thursday to the families of those the aviation agency said had died in the crash.

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