russia says it confirmed wagner leader prigozhin died in a plane crash jpg

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – AUGUST 25: People lay carnations to a memorial as they pay tribute to Yevgeny Prigozhin who died in a plane crash, in Moscow, Russia on August 25, 2023. (Photo by Pelagiya Tihonova/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s Investigative Committee said Sunday that it has confirmed that Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the mercenary group Wagner, was killed in a plane crash.

Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said in a statement that forensic testing identified all 10 bodies recovered at the site of Wednesday’s crash and the findings “conform to the manifest” of the plane. The statement didn’t offer any details as to what might have caused the crash.

Russia’s civil aviation authority earlier this week said Prigozhin, along with some of his top lieutenants, were on the list of the passengers and crew members on board the plane.

Prigozhin, 62, was killed two months after he mounted a daylong mutiny against Russia’s military that President Vladimir Putin decried as “treason.” The Kremlin cut a deal with Prigozhin to end the armed revolt that allowed him to walk free without any charges levied against him.

The brief uprising posed the biggest challenge to Putin’s authority of his 23-year rule.

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