Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had seen the report but would not comment, before adding: “Lately, unfortunately, the Wall Street Journal loves to produce cheap crime fiction.”
The Kremlin today accused the Wall Street Journal of calling its claim that the death of mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin in a plane crash orchestrated by Russian security official Nikolai Patrushev a “cheap detective story.”
The WSJ reported that Prigozhin’s private jet was shot down by a small bomb which had been placed under one wing. The authors of the report cited unnamed Western intelligence officials and a former Russian intelligence official.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he had seen the report but would not comment. before adding: “Lately, unfortunately, the Wall Street Journal loves to produce cheap crime fiction.”
Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary organization, has long been at loggerheads with the country’s defense establishment that culminated in a mutiny in late June. This rebellion was quickly put down, but it was seen by many as a serious challenge to the power of President Vladimir Putin.
Prigozhin was killed in a plane crash exactly two months later. The Kremlin had previously dismissed as an “absolute lie” the claim that he was killed on Putin’s orders. Putin claimed in October that the crash was caused by grenades detonated inside the aircraft.
Nine other people were also killed: two other high-ranking Wagner officials, four Prigozhin bodyguards and three crew members.
Patrushev, 72, is a former head of the FSB security service. He now holds the post of secretary of the Russian Security Council and is considered one of the most hard-line and influential officials among Putin’s close advisers.
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