Russian President Vladimir Putin “is sending a very loud message” through the death of Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin in a plane crash, British MP and chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Alicia Kearns said on Wednesday.
“The speed at which the Russian Govt has confirmed Yevgeny Prigozhin was on a plane that crashed on a flight from Moscow to St Petersburg should tell us everything we need to know,” Kearns said on Twitter.
She added: “Reports Russian Air Defense shot down the plane suggests Putin is sending a very loud message.”
Telegram channel affiliated with Wagner, Grey Zone, reported that Prigozhin died in a plane crash that was “shot down” in the sky over the Tver region by the Russian Defense Ministry.
It confirmed his death in a message: “The head of the Wagner Group, Hero of Russia, a true patriot of his Motherland, Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin, died as a result of the actions of traitors to Russia.”
Moscow has yet to comment on Prigozhin’s death.
The Federal Agency for Air Transport of Russia said it initiated an investigation of the crash.