Russian investigators announced on Sunday that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group, had died. They said this through DNA testing on all 10 human remains from the victims of a private jet crash northwest of Moscow.

The DNA testing have been finished, according to Svetlana Petrenko, a spokesperson for the Federal Air Transport Agency of Russia. Their findings show that the identities of all 10 fatalities have been determined, and they match the list given in the aircraft manifest.

Prigozhin, a former restaurant entrepreneur and close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is identified as the head of a driving crew of three people and his six closest lieutenants in the announcement letter of Embraer Business Jet. The formidable conglomerate that had formed itself alongside Russia in nations like the Ukraine, Syria, Sudan, and several others with some of Russia’s most powerful military units suffered a great deal from these deaths. The Russian public had made Prigozhin into a folk hero, but a 36-hour disastrous rebellion provoked criticism from Putin’s allies in the military establishment and its commanders, as well as their unrelenting surveillance.

Officials from the United States and other Western nations claim that the Wednesday jet tragedy was deliberately caused by an explosion, according to the initial American intelligence assessment. These officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The Kremlin has denied any participation in the disaster, and the cause is still being looked into.

Ivan Fomin, an associate professor at the University of Moscow until he left Russia days after the Ukraine invasion, says Prigozhin’s death can’t cure Putin’s political ills.

“The problem Putin faces is not limited to a single rebellious former restaurateur and thus cannot be solved by assassination alone,” Fomin wrote in an opinion piece for The Moscow Times. “He instead has to find a way to deal with a fairly broad group of people who are in favor of tougher policies and a more aggressive military campaign in Ukraine.” 

Putin sent his sympathies to the victims’ families the day following the accident and praised Prigozhin for his “significant contribution” to Russia’s military effort.

Putin claimed, “He was a man of difficult fate, and he made serious mistakes in life,” adding, “He achieved the results he needed.”

Developments:

◾The Russian military said its long-range missiles attacked an airfield near Kyiv and that “the purpose of the strike was achieved.”

◾Legendary Ukrainian fighter pilot Andrii Pilshchykov, known as “Juice,” was killed in a collision of two planes, Ukraine Pravda reported.

Zelenskyy promises a “effective September.”

The fresh military aid packages are already in the works, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who also said that plans are being made for “Productive September.” He stated that weaponry such as artillery, armored vehicles, missiles, and demining tools are on the way, and that there is constantly more international backing. He stressed how despite Russia’s blockade, Ukraine is working to get its grain to countries that are desperately in need. This shows how important global food security has become.

“A world united is more powerful than an aggressor,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter. “In September, there will be even more unity.”

Russia asserts Ukraine attempted to murder a correspondent based in Crimea.

A military reporter from a journalistic organization in Crimea, Russia, was hurt in a Kherson incident when Ukrainian soldiers attempted to attack him. This assertion was made on Sunday by Vladimir Saldov, the region’s acting Russian governor. As hostilities grew more tense, a Ukrainian soldier who was siding with the Ukrainians in the fight claimed that Ukrainian militants had targeted a journalist named “Lex” who was driving a car using an armed drone. Even though the car sustained severe damage, Saldov omitted information about the extent of the journalist’s wounds. The claims made by Russia have received no immediate response from Ukrainian officials.

In response to the Ukrainian attack, Russia is preparing its own offensive

According to Eastern Force Grouping press officer Illia Yevlash, Russia has positioned around 100,000 troops in Kharkiv and Luhansk along the Kupiansk-Lyman direction of the front. Even as Ukraine’s advance progressively recaptures land that Russia had taken in the first several months of the 18-month war, the troops are giving Russian forces their own offensive. Before being freed last year, both cities were held by Russian forces.

In a recent assessment, the British Defense Ministry stated that Russia’s doctrine “suggests that it will attempt to regain the initiative by pivoting back to an operational level offensive as Ukraine continues to gradually gain ground in the south.” “One potential location for this is Kupiansk-Lyman.”

Yevgeny Prigozhin, a former hot dog vendor, rose to prominence as a vicious Russian mercenary commander.

  • Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin rose to power as Russia’s most powerful mercenary leader
  • His presumed death on Wednesday came two months after he posed the biggest threat to Vladimir Putin’s rule

In May, they seized the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut in a rare victory for Russia in the war, but Prigozhin complained bitterly about the Defence Ministry’s conduct of the fight, saying it had denied ammunition to his forces.

As the war slogged on, Prigozhin dropped his public reticence and began releasing social media videos in which he lauded his troops and increasingly denounced Russia’s defence establishment for alleged mismanagement of the war and denying weapons and ammunition to his forces

On Monday, video footage circulated showing Yevgeny Prigozhin apparently in Africa, which he vowed to make ‘freer’.

Yevgeny Prigozhin made his name as the profane and brutal mercenary boss who in June mounted an armed rebellion that was the most severe and shocking challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rule.

Prigozhin was aboard a plane that crashed north of Moscow on Wednesday, killing all 10 people on board, according to Russia’s civil aviation agency.

The 62-year-old’s extraordinary journey took him from prisoner and hot dog vendor to elegant St Petersburg restaurateur, and then from propaganda wars to the grisly battlefields in Ukraine.

As an instrument to project Russian power globally, his soldiers-for-hire were deployed to Africa to provide security for warlords and fought in Syria to shore up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

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