Yevgeny Prigozhin was assassinated as a “gift to Zelensky” by Ukraine’s intelligence service to celebrate the nation’s independence day today, Vladimir Putin’s former spokesman said.
Sergei Markov, a staunch supporter of the Russian president and a former close adviser, said it was “absolutely clear that Prigozhin [was] Murdered by [the] Ukrainian intelligence service’, the night before Ukraine
Wagner’s boss is presumed dead following a plane crash that, despite Markov’s claims, is widely viewed as a Kremlin-ordered assassination that also killed top officers in his private army two months after the attempted insurgency. of the group.
After blaming the Ukrainian intelligence service for Prigozhin’s death, Markov today hailed him as a “Russian hero” despite the fact that the head of the Wagner mercenary group launched a coup attempt in the country just two months ago.
The former Kremlin aide, who now parrots Russian propaganda at Moscow State University, called the evidence “very clear.”
Witness images from the crash site of a plane linked to Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin near Kuzhenkino, Russia, on Wednesday.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky reacts during a joint news conference with Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday.
Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin (pictured) and senior officers of his private army were presumed dead in a plane crash near Kuzhenkino, Russia, on Wednesday.
Addressing death in an interview Thursday morning on BBC Radio 4 Today programMarkov claimed that kyiv would be “celebrating” the death and would be “proud” of the murder.
He said the evidence was very clear, but he did not provide any justification for his argument beyond the claims of Russian TV propaganda.
Markov added that he had “5 percent doubt” that Progozhin was dead after the plane crash. Rescuers scrambled to find the 10 bodies of the passengers registered for the flight, and Russian media cited sources from Prigozhin’s Wagner private military company as confirming his death.
The former Kremlin aide claimed Progozhin’s confirmed death would be “bad news” for Russia, hailing the caterer-turned-mercenary boss a “hero of Russia and a hero of the Donetsk people.”
This comes despite Putin’s harsh criticism of his once-trusted ally over the June coup attempt, widely regarded internationally as humiliating the Kremlin.
After the suppressed uprising, and without mentioning Prighozin by name, Putin said that the organizers of the rebellion were “treasonous” and had “betrayed their country, their people”.
“He was the founder and leader of the best private military group,” said Markov, who was fighting “neo-Nazis” – an argument Russia has persisted with in an attempt to justify its brutal bloodshed in Ukraine.
The death comes as no surprise to Western officials who had long expected Prigozhin’s death at Putin’s hands, despite the Russian president. promising to drop the charges in a deal that ended the June 23-24 riot.
Sergei Markov (9 pictured), a staunch supporter of the Russian president and a former close adviser, said it was “absolutely clear that Prigozhin [was] Murdered by [the] Ukrainian intelligence service’
Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a ceremony to unveil the first phase of the Battle of Kursk monument in the settlement of Ponyri, Kursk region, Russia, on Wednesday.
“I don’t know for sure what happened, but I’m not surprised,” US President Joe Biden said. “There’s not much that happens in Russia that Putin isn’t behind.”
Prigozhin’s supporters claimed on pro-Wagner messaging app channels that the plane was deliberately shot down and offered different theories as to how.
Police cordoned off the field where the plane crashed while investigators surveyed the scene. Vehicles were seen coming in to remove the bodies, apparently badly charred, for forensic examination.
Lights in the shape of a large cross went on at Wagner’s headquarters in St. Petersburg. Prigozhin’s supporters brought flowers to the building in a makeshift memorial.
While countless theories circulated about the events, most observers saw Prigozhin’s death as Putin’s punishment for the most serious challenge to his authority during his 23-year rule.
Tatiana Stanovaya, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center, said on Telegram that “no matter what caused the plane crash, everyone will see it as an act of revenge and retribution” by the Kremlin, and “the Kremlin really wouldn’t do it.” get in the way of that.
“From the point of view of Putin, as well as the security forces and the military, Prigozhin’s death should be a lesson for any potential supporter,” Stanovaya said in a Telegram post.