Thursday, June 13, 2024

Russia to investigate “deliberate” action in Wagner boss plane crash: Kremlin

Russia is considering the possibility of a “deliberate” action in its investigation of the plane crash that killed Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, but Moscow will not allow international authorities to intervene, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

The possibility of a “deliberate atrocity” is one of many scenarios under consideration, Peskov said.

“Since there are no conclusions [of the investigation] yet, I cannot accurately formulate it for you [the reasons for the jet crash]. But it is obvious that there are different versions, including the version of, let’s say, a deliberate atrocity,” Peskov stated.

His comments came after Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee reportedly rejected an offer by Brazilian authorities and the aircraft manufacturer, Brazilian company Embraer, to participate in the investigation.

The committee announced that because the crash took place on Russian soil, an international investigation is unnecessary, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing the Brazilian agency.

“This is our Russian investigation, so in this case there can be no talk of any international aspect,” Peskov added.

Prigozhin’s death came two months after he staged a brief mutiny, marching his Wagner Private Military Company forces towards Moscow with the stated goal of replacing top military commanders.

President Vladimir Putin branded the man a traitor at the time, but agreed to a deal in the interests of avoiding major bloodshed. This allowed Prigozhin and his loyalists to leave Russia. He has repeatedly stressed that most Wagner members were patriots, whose service on the battlefield made them heroes.

Some Western media have claimed that Moscow may have been behind Prigozhin’s plane crash. The Kremlin has dismissed this “speculation” as “a total lie.” Putin has promised a thorough investigation of the incident.

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