“STAB IN THE BACK”
The crash came two months to the day after Prigozhin and his Wagner mercenaries staged a mutiny against Russian military commanders in which they took control of a southern city, Rostov, and advanced towards Moscow before turning around 200km from the capital.
Russian President Vladimir Putin described the Jun 23 to Jun 24 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 believed to have died in the crash.
Western politicians and commentators have suggested, without presenting evidence, that Putin ordered Prigozhin to be killed as punishment for the mutiny, which also represented the biggest challenge to Putin’s own rule since he came to power in 1999.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that such suggestions were “an absolute lie”. Asked whether Putin might attend Prigozhin’s funeral, Peskov said it was too early to say and also noted the president’s “busy schedule”.
Prigozhin’s Wagner fighters played a prominent role in the fighting in eastern Ukraine, in particular the months-long siege of the city of Bakhmut.
Putin paid a mixed tribute to Prigozhin on Thursday, describing him as a “talented businessman” but also as a flawed character who “made serious mistakes in life”.
Source : https://www.channelnewsasia.com/world/yevgeny-prigozhin-plane-crash-russia-says-genetic-tests-confirm-wagner-chief-death-3727886