The Kremlin denied today that he ordered the killing of Yevgeny Prigozhinthe head of mercenary company Wagner and a nemesis of Vladimir Putin, who reportedly died in the crash of his plane on Wednesday night, has declined to definitively confirm his death, citing the need to await test results and the research.

“Now there is a lot of speculation surrounding the crash of this plane and the tragic deaths of its passengers, including Yevgeny Prigozhin. Of course in the West all these speculations are presented from a very well-known angle,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

“All these are absolute lies and here, when we cover this issue, it is necessary to rely on the facts. There is not much evidence yet. These must be established during the investigative actions,” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman noted in response. when asked about insinuations by Western leaders that the Kremlin allegedly ordered Prigozhin’s assassination.

Peskov also added that it is important to wait for the results of various tests, as well as the conclusion of the investigation.

Putin had not met Prigozhin recently, the Kremlin spokesman also noted.

The Russian president offered his condolences to Prigozhin’s family on Thursday, breaking his silence after the Wagner leader’s plane crashed on Wednesday night, killing all on board, two months after he led the group. of Wagner’s failed mutiny against the Russian military command.

Putin cited “preliminary information” indicating that Prigozhin and his top associates at Wagner were killed in the crash.

Russian authorities have launched an investigation into the crash. However, so far they have not stated what they consider to be the cause of the plane’s sudden fall from the sky northwest of Moscow.

Nor have they officially confirmed the identity of the 10 bodies recovered from the wreckage of the plane.

Asked if the Kremlin has received official confirmation of Prigozhin’s death, Peskov noted: “If you listened carefully to the Russian president’s statement, he said that all the necessary tests, including genetic tests, will be done now. The official results – as soon as ready to be published, they will be published”.

Western politicians and commentators have suggested that Putin ordered the assassination of Prigozhin to punish him for launching the aborted mutiny in June against the hierarchy of the Russian armed forces, the biggest challenge Putin has faced since coming to power. .

It is unknown whether Putin will attend Prigozhin’s funeral

Peskov also noted that it is impossible to say whether Putin will attend Prigozhin’s funeral, adding that the Russian president has a “very full schedule.”

Wagner has no official legal status

Putin’s spokesman also added that the Wagner Group has no official legal status.

Wagner exists as a group that made a “great contribution” to the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Peskov said, praising the “heroism” of its fighters.

British Ministry of Defense: “Extremely likely” Prigozhin is indeed dead

“Extremely likely” considers the British Ministry of Defense o Yevgeny Prigozhin is indeed dead after Wednesday’s plane crash in Russia.

In an informative note on Friday morning, the ministry comes to this conclusion despite noting that “There is still no definitive evidence that Prigozhin was on (the plane) and that he is known for taking extraordinary security measures.”

In its analysis, the British ministry comments that the death of Prigozhin “it would almost certainly have a profoundly destabilizing impact” in the Wagner Group.

The characteristics of hyperactivity, rare audacity, determination for results and extreme brutality that distinguished him, the British analysis continues, it ran through Wagner and is unlikely to discern any successor.

Finally, the Ministry of Defense notes that the leadership vacuum at Wagner would be compounded if reports of the simultaneous deaths of founder and field commander Dmitry Utkin and chief logistics officer Valery Chekalov are true.