Wagner Group issue statement after death of Yevgeny Prigozhin
Russia’s security agency, the FSB, has been pinpointed as the most likely source of foul play behind a plane crash that is reported to have caused the death of former Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin.
It comes as masked men claimed to be from the Wagner private military company (PMC) vowed to take their own revenge on those responsible for killing their leader.
The Russian aviation authority said 10 people, including three crew, died when a jet carrying Prigozhin and other Wagner lieutenants crashed just after leaving Moscow on Wednesday.
Western officials have long suspected Prigozhin’s life may have been under threat after he led an a failed coup attempt against senior figures in the Kremlin on June 23.
Wagner troops made it within 120 miles of Moscow before the revolt, which Prigozhin dubbed a “march of justice” was called off.
READ MORE… Putin’s revenge on his former chef Prigozhin was a ‘dish best served cold’
President Putin first denounced the rebellion as “treason” and a “stab in the back” but a deal was later struck which saw Prigozhin go into an uneasy exile of sorts.
Now, Western security figures believe Prigozhin was marked all along after his revolt and the Kremlin’s security forces, and Putin, were behind his death.
A source told the Telegraph: “Of course it’s Putin. Putin as a leader cannot afford to be humiliated in the way that he was. Putin functions on two things: Loyalty above talent… and the consequence of betrayal.
“All the mood music, all the habits, all the history point to the FSB. The FSB remains loyal to Putin.”
The FSB were formerly known as the KGB in the Soviet era, and were once Putin’s employer when he was stationed as a KGB officer in East Germany during the Cold War.
Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, also told the Telegraph it was “unsurprising” Prigozhin had met an untimely end.
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Sir Richard told the paper “Most people will jump to the conclusion that this isn’t an accident”, and added that in the West most people will think “that this is Putin’s revenge”.
Prigozhin supporters claimed on pro-Wagner messaging app channels that the plane was deliberately downed, although such claims could not be independently verified.
Masked men claiming to be part of the Wagner Group released a chilling video promising revenge, the Mirror reports.
In a video released after the crash, masked men appear to promise revenge on Moscow. In the footage one man says: “There’s a lot of talk right now about what the Wagner Group will do. We can tell you one thing, we are getting started, get ready for us.” The video released online is yet to be confirmed as officially on behalf of the group.
Over recent months numerous opponents and critics of Putin have been killed or gravely sickened in apparent assassination attempts.
CIA Director William Burns has earlier noted that for Putin “revenge is a dish best served cold,” describing the Russian president as “the ultimate apostle of payback.”
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