Since Prigozhin’s plane crashed north of Moscow on August 23, Vladimir Putin has rarely returned to the issue. Just a few farewell letters from a former friend who, after the attempt to march on the capital on June 24, became, in his eyes, one of the main traitors. But today, the Kremlin leader somehow decided to partially break the silence. He did this during the annual Valdai Forum. According to Putin, the ill-fated plane was not shot down, and he ruled out the presence of possible external factors behind the tragedy.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Russian president decided to talk about Prigozhin specifically in Valdai. The forum is considered a crucial event on Putin’s annual agenda, and is capable of attracting a lot of media attention. Therefore, the Kremlin leader is well aware that he can spread his messages further.
According to Putin, the plane in which Prigozhin was traveling was not shot down. Moreover, the President of the Russian Federation assumed that explosions had occurred on board the plane. “Grenade fragments found in the bodies of plane crash victims.”The Kremlin head continues. Therefore, there were no external factors that caused the plane to crash. It is important to emphasize this last circumstance from Moscow’s point of view. In fact, many analysts assumed that Russian forces used anti-aircraft guns, on orders from Putin himself or from the heads of the Defense Ministry, against the plane of the former leader Wagner.
“There were no external factors – Then Putin added – This is a fact that has already been confirmed, as a result of analyzes conducted by the Russian Investigative Committee.” According to this reconstruction, the attack occurred in the car. But no accusations or hypotheses were made to this effect.
The fatal crash of Prigozhin’s plane occurred exactly two months after Wagner attempted to march to Moscow. The PMC, once the Kremlin’s long arm in Africa and in the Ukrainian trenches themselves, turned into Putin’s main nightmare on June 24 as the march stopped just steps from the capital.
An irreparable insult by Prigozhin to Putin, at least according to the Russian president who actually spoke of betrayal after the failed coup. So the denouement of the story occurred at the end of August, when the plane carrying Prigozhin crashed in the Tver region. Wagner’s first time was returning from a trip to Africa, a continent where the company had its main economic and political interests.
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