Vladimir Putin today faced a furious backlash from war supporters in Russia after claiming that Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin and his associates were high on cocaine and committed suicide by detonating hand grenades aboard their plane.
The Russian leader stated in Sochi that “fragments of hand grenades were discovered in the bodies of those killed in the plane crash.”
He attributed this finding to Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee (a Russian version of the FBI), who was his former classmate at the university and is a close crony.
He also said that five kilograms of cocaine had previously been found in Prigozhin’s possession, implying that his former friend and other members of Wagner’s high command aboard the plane were addicts.
But Putin’s explanation of cocaine and drugs was met with disbelief and has only served to deepen the view that Prigozhin, once close to the dictator, was killed in a state assassination.
In response, Prigozhin’s loyal followers produced an AI-generated video of their fallen leader posthumously mocking the Russian president.
‘Of course,’ said the dead warlord, ‘we just got high on cocaine and started throwing grenades at each other on the plane. Of course.’
Vladimir Putin (pictured Thursday at the Valdai forum in Sochi, Russia) suggested that his nemesis Yevgeny Prigozhin’s plane was brought down by a hand grenade that exploded inside the plane while boss Wagner and his fellow mercenaries were drunk or high. .
Putin has suggested that the explosion that killed Prigozhin (pictured) and nine others was the result of a hand grenade that accidentally detonated inside the plane.
Consequences of the plane crash after Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private jet fell from the sky
Weeks after Prigozhin, 62, led a revolt against the Kremlin, he was traveling on a private jet from Moscow to St. Petersburg on August 23 when it burst into flames.
The Embraer executive plane then fell to the ground, killing Prigozhin, his bodyguards and other Wagner commanders, including Dmitry Utkin. The finger was immediately pointed at President Putin, who had clashed spectacularly with Prigozhin over the war in Ukraine.
But in an apparent attempt to distance himself from responsibility, Putin suggested that the explosion was the result of a hand grenade that accidentally detonated inside the plane.
“Fragments of hand grenades were found in the bodies of those killed in the accident,” Putin said at the Valdai forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. “There was no external impact on the plane; this is already a proven fact.”
The despot said he thought it was wrong that accident investigators did not perform alcohol and drug tests on the deceased when their bodies were recovered from the crash site.
“Unfortunately, no test was performed to detect the presence of alcohol or drugs in the victims’ blood,” he said. “In my opinion, this should have been done, but it wasn’t.”
In fact, the FSB security service had returned suspected cocaine “briquettes” found in its facilities weeks ago.
They were returned because upon examination they were found to be “mere washing powders.”
It was claimed that Wagner’s “intelligence service” had used fake drugs in an operation in Africa.
It is understood that no other facilities relating to people on board have been searched for cocaine or grenades.
Weeks after leading a revolt against the Kremlin, Prigozhin was traveling on a private jet from Moscow to St. Petersburg on August 23 when it burst into flames (pictured).
The Embraer executive plane then crashed to the ground, killing Prigozhin, his bodyguards and other Wagner commanders. In the photo: – Russian investigators comb the scene of a plane crash near the village of Kuzhenkino on August 24 this year.
Vladimir Putin has claimed that hand grenade fragments have been recovered from the wreckage of a plane crash that killed his nemesis Yevgeny Prigozhin (pictured in June this year).
Former Wagner commander Marat Gabidullin, who left the group in 2019, dismissed Putin’s claims.
‘I don’t believe this. I never noticed any sign that [Prigozhin or Utkin] used drugs. And neither of them drank,” Gabidullin said. The times.
Since the conflict began, several of Putin’s opponents have met a gruesome end.
Western intelligence officials also believe that the explosion that damaged the plane in mid-flight was internal rather than external.
But to date, only President Putin has suggested that the accident was caused by the accidental detonation of grenades by one of the passengers or crew.
It has been claimed that explosives had been placed inside a case of wine that had been loaded onto the private plane and that Putin was behind the attack. The Kremlin called accusations that it was behind the crash an “absolute lie.”
A Russian investigation has been launched but no results have yet been published. Moscow rejected an offer from Brazil, where the Embraer business jet was built, to join the investigation.
Prigozhin’s rebellion in June marked the most serious challenge to Putin’s rule since he came to power in 1999.
Prigozhin said his goal was to overthrow the leadership of the Defense Ministry, which he blamed for mistakes in escalating fighting in Ukraine.
His mercenaries seized Russia’s southern military headquarters in Rostov-on-Don and then advanced toward Moscow before abruptly stopping the mutiny under a deal that offered them amnesty from prosecution.
Initially, the president’s response (expelling Prigozhin to neighboring Belarus) seemed unusually meek, the sentence of a president whose powers were waning.
Then, exactly two months later, Prigozhin’s plane disappeared from the sky.