French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna today mockingly reacted to the alleged death of Yevgeny Prigozhinhead of the Russian paramilitary organization Wagner, noting that “the mortality rate among those close to Putin is particularly high.”

“It’s a dangerous activity,” Colonna told AFP, declining to comment further.

An investigation is underway today in Russia into the plane crash, which apparently caused Prigozhin’s death. The 62-year-old, once a close associate of Putin, has become a staunch opponent of the Kremlin since his uprising in late June, fueling rumors of a possible assassination.

For its part, the French foreign ministry told AFP it was unable to speak “about the circumstances of the crash which are far from clear”.

“It is too early to calculate the consequences of Prigozhin’s alleged death,” the French ministry added. “If it turns out to be this death, that would be a significant piece of evidence.”

“Wagner is a criminal enterprise, carrying out Putin’s wrongdoings in Ukraine and in African countries, a militia that lives by looting, looting and murder. Prigozhin’s signature is blood and crime“, he also said.