Wagner Mercenary Leader Dies In Private Plane Crash

Wagner Mercenary Leader Dies In Private Plane Crash
Yevgeny Prigozhin (screen capture via CP24)

The leader of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who led a brief rebellion against the Kremlin in June, has died in an airplane crash.

From CNN:

Prigozhin, the founder and bombastic leader of Russia’s private military group Wagner, was once a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, but that changed after the mercenary incited an armed rebellion against the Kremlin.

Prigozhin founded Wagner as shadowy mercenary outfit that fought both in Ukraine and, increasingly, for Russian-backed causes around the world. 

In recent months, Prigozhin became an outspoken critic of Russia’s military leaders. After complaining for more than a month of receiving insufficient support from the Kremlin in the grueling fight for the eastern city of Bakhmut, he announced in May that his troops would withdraw.

In June, Prigozhin launched a  short-lived rebellion against the Kremlin. He’s barely been seen in public since the end of that effort.

President Biden suggested that Putin may have been behind the crash of a plane near Moscow. Biden told reporters today there is “not much that happens in Russia that Putin is not behind, but I don’t know enough to know the answer.”