Russian mercenaries gathered on Tuesday for the burial of one of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s close associates who was killed in the plane crash along with the head of Wagner on August 23.

The Embraer Legacy 600 private jet in which Prigozhin was traveling to St Petersburg from Moscow crashed north of Moscow, killing all 10 people on board, including top Wagner executives Dmitry Utkin and Valery Chekalov.

Chekalov’s funeral at Severnoye Cemetery in St Petersburg was attended by dozens of people, some of whom Reuters identified as Wagner mercenaries and employees from Prigozhin’s business empire.

Some, including women and children in sunglasses, kissed his coffin, while some onlookers asked the photographer and Reuters to stop taking pictures.

It is not yet clear what caused the plane to crash, but villagers near the crash site told Reuters they heard a bang and then saw the plane fall to the ground.

Asked whether Putin would attend Prigozhin’s funeral, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “The presence of the president is not foreseen».

Peskov said the Kremlin had no specific information about funeral plans and that arrangements were up to relatives. It is not yet known when and where Prigozhin’s funeral will take place.