published : 2023-08-25

Zelenskyy Denies Ukraine's Involvement in Plane Crash Claimed to Take Wagner Group Leader's Life

Alleged death of Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin occurs among nine others in a plane crash in Russia

A press conference-setting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, addressing a crowd of reporters. The background is filled with Ukrainian flags as he denies Ukraine's involvement in the crash. Taken with a Nikon D850.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has dismissed any association of his country with the putative death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, a notorious Russian mercenary leader.

There have been reports of Prigozhin, along with nine others, losing their lives in a plane crash in Russian airspace on Wednesday.

'We stand uninvolved in this event, rest assured', claimed Zelenskyy in a public declaration on Thursday.

Zelenskyy subtly insinuated towards widespread allegations pinning the Russian government responsible for the fatal plane crash, stating, 'It's clear to everyone who stands involved'.

Reports from TASS news agency indicate that the business jet, carrying the warlord, was en-route from Russia's capital to St. Petersburg when it crashed in the Tver region.

An image depicting investigators studying the wreckage of an Embraer aircraft crash in the Tver region. A figure is silhouetted against the smoky, grey sky as the sun starts to set. Taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

Among the passengers, Prigozhin was listed, as per Federal Air Transport Agency's record, a fact reported by TASS on their Telegram.

Investigations are underway on the crash of the Embraer aircraft.

No conclusive proof has been established of Prigozhin being among the ten who perished in the crash, contrary to popular claims made by Russian state media of his demise.

The Pentagon has revealed that they are closely scrutinizing the incident.

Expressing scepticism regarding the surprising reports, White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson stated, 'We have seen the reports, anyone should have anticipated if confirmed'.

A close-up portrait of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the notorious Russian mercenary leader, hinting at his involvement in the uprising. The photo captures an expression of inscrutability, highlighting the enigmatic nature of his character. Taken with a Sony Alpha 7R IV.

Watson linked this calamity to the devastating war in Ukraine, which had led to a private army's march towards Moscow, and now, apparently, this unexpected incident.

Known for instrumentalizing the Wagner Group to extend its foothold in the Middle East and Africa since 2014, the Kremlin has found its tactics turn boomerang.

Prior to these sudden turn of events, Prigozhin aggressively criticized Russia's military performance in Ukraine, calling for an armed insurrection on June 23 to overthrow the defense minister. Following this call, he headed towards Moscow with his band of mercenaries.

A deal mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko saw Prigozhin agreeing to cease his insurrection in exchange for amnesty for his combatants and himself, along with permission to move to Belarus.

Branded a criminal after vowing punishment for those part of the rebellion, Prigozhin was later exempted from the charges. Post this incident, the Kremlin confirmed a three-hour meeting between Putin, Prigozhin and the Wagner Group commanders.