The confirmation of the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group, by Russian authorities has dispelled uncertainties surrounding his fate following a fatal plane crash.
Genetic testing on the recovered bodies matched the flight’s manifest, indicating Prigozhin’s presence on the ill-fated flight.
Prigozhin, known for his prominent role as the leader of the Wagner Group, had previously initiated a daylong mutiny against Russia‘s military, leading his mercenaries from Ukraine towards Moscow.
The Kremlin ultimately struck a deal with Prigozhin to quell the revolt, granting him freedom without charges in exchange for ending the uprising.
Alongside Prigozhin, his second-in-command Dmitry Utkin and Wagner logistics mastermind Valery Chekalov were also victims of the crash.
Prigozhin’s death raises questions about potential consequences for his previous actions and the influence he held within his loyal following.
The Wagner Group, under Prigozhin’s leadership, played a significant role in the fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Despite Prigozhin’s criticisms of Russia’s military command and his alliance with mercenaries, he maintained a high level of loyalty among his followers.
While some Wagner mercenaries are anticipated to join Russia’s armed forces, the sudden demise of their leader is likely to evoke strong reactions from those who revered him.
Russian President Vladimir Putin offered a complex tribute to Prigozhin, acknowledging his talents but also acknowledging his mistakes.