Russia’s Putin sends condolences over crash, says Prigozhin ‘achieved results’

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday expressed his “condolences” over a plane crash that killed Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, describing him as a man who made mistakes but “achieved results.”

An investigation is currently underway into what caused Wednesday’s crash, which came exactly two months after Wagner’s short-lived rebellion against Moscow’s military leadership.

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“First of all I want to express words of sincere condolences to the families of all the victims,” Putin said in a televised meeting, calling the incident a “tragedy.”

“I knew Prigozhin for a very long time, since the early 90s. He was a man of complicated fate, and he made serious mistakes in his life, but he achieved the right results,” Putin said.

“He (Prigozhin) was a talented person, a talented businessman, he worked not only in our country, and achieved results, but also abroad, particularly in Africa. He was involved there with oil, gas, precious metals and stones,” he added.

Putin said that an investigation had been launched into the crash, and that “it will take some time.”

“It will be conducted in full and brought to a conclusion. There is no doubt about that,” Putin said, in footage showing a meeting with the Russian-installed head of the Donetsk region Denis Pushilin.

The circumstances of the crash, which claimed the lives of some of Prigozhin’s close entourage, have prompted furious speculation about a possible assassination.

“Indeed, if employees of the Wagner company were there, and the preliminary data indicate they were, I would like to note that these people made a significant contribution to our common cause of combating the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine, we remember this, we know it and we shall not forget,” Putin added.

The crash occurred exactly two months after Prigozhin led a mutiny against Russia’s army leadership, an act of rebellion that Putin at the time condemned as a treacherous “stab in the back.”

Read more:

Prigozhin death is likely Putin’s payback for mutiny, warning to opposition: Analysts

Wagner chief Prigozhin killed in plane crash near Moscow

Wagner affiliated channel claims Prigozhin’s plane was shot down by defense ministry

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