MOSCOW (Agencies): The Kremlin has firmly denied any connection to the plane crash that is believed to have resulted in the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group. This incident has been widely speculated to be a retaliatory assassination for Prigozhin’s thwarted mutiny a couple of months ago.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, categorically dismissed the speculations that Russian President Vladimir Putin sanctioned an attack on Prigozhin, terming such allegations as “utterly false.” Russian state media reported Peskov making this statement on Friday.

As of now, there is limited verified information, and a comprehensive analysis is pending to confirm Prigozhin’s demise. Peskov, during a regular press briefing, conveyed that factual outcomes of the investigation will be disclosed in due course. The results will be published officially, as reported by the RIA news agency.

Yevgeny Prigozhin was among the passengers on a private jet that crashed in the Tver region on Wednesday, resulting in no survivors, as per Russian authorities.

The identification of Prigozhin’s remains has not been officially confirmed, and the factors leading to the plane crash remain undisclosed.

Breaking his silence on Thursday, Putin referred to Prigozhin as “an individual with a complex history, who has made significant misjudgments in his life.”

Addressing the issue, Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon’s press secretary, stated on Thursday that the initial evaluation from the Defense Department suggests that Prigozhin’s death is probable. He negated the claims of the aircraft being struck by a surface-to-air missile, countering the reports proposing this theory for the crash’s cause.

According to information obtained by NBC News from two U.S. officials, the prevailing intelligence leans toward the possibility of sabotage. One of the officials suggested that a leading hypothesis is the presence of an onboard explosive that brought down the aircraft, although certainty is lacking due to insufficient information.

In June, Prigozhin briefly led a mutiny against the national military leadership, but eventually agreed to a settlement with the Kremlin, resulting in his exile to neighboring Belarus. He later clarified that his intention was not to overthrow Putin, but to oppose the high-ranking military authorities in order to protect his private military group.

Regarding Prigozhin’s potential funeral, Peskov remarked that it remains uncertain if Putin will attend, especially considering the President’s demanding schedule.

By Media

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