Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin, has refuted rumours of Kremlin’s involvement in the death of Wagner Group leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Addressing newsmen on Friday, Peskov said speculations pointing at the Russian Government for orchestrating the plane crash were “absolute” lies, ABC News reports.
“There is a lot of speculation around the plane crash and the tragic death of the passengers, including Yevgeny Prigozhin,” Peskov said. “Of course, in the West, this speculation is being presented from a certain angle. All of this is an absolute lie.”
Prigozhin was killed in a plane crash during a flight from Moscow to St. Petersburg on Wednesday. He was accompanied by six other passengers and three crew members who also died in the accident.
The incident comes two months after he headed a mutiny against Putin, moving his troops from Ukraine, seizing the southern Russian city of Rostov on Don, and threatening to march on Moscow.
Wagner mercenaries have been fighting alongside the Russian military in Ukraine for over a year.
Speaking on the possible connection of Putin with the Wagner chief’s death, President of the United States, Joe Biden said on Wednesday, “I don’t know for a fact what happened, but I’m not surprised. There’s not much that happens in Russia that Putin’s not behind.”
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also responded to Biden’s remark on Friday stating that, “It is not for the U.S. president, in my opinion, to talk about certain tragic events of this nature”.
Paying his tribute to the deceased on Thursday, Putin described Prigozhin as “a person with a complicated fate” who “made serious mistakes in life”.
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