Putin offers condolences to families of Wagner jet crash victims

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday extended his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in a private jet crash in the Tver region, saying the incident will be investigated thoroughly.

Late Wednesday, Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency said that an Embraer-135 aircraft crashed in Russia’s Tver region while traveling from Moscow to St. Petersburg, killing all 10 passengers onboard, including Wagner head Yevgeny Prigozhin.

The agency later released a list of the names of individuals onboard the aircraft, which included Prigozhin, Wagner co-founder Dmitry Utkin, and other Wagner personnel.

Regarding Prigozhin’s death in the crash, Putin said: “He had known Prigozhin since the early 1990s. He was a man of difficult fate, but he achieved the desired results.”

During a meeting with Denis Pushilin, acting head of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, a region of Ukraine currently under the control of Russia, Putin said: “Prigozhin actively worked not only in our country but also abroad. And he worked successfully.”

Putin said: “The contribution of Wagner fighters to the fight against neo-Nazism would not be forgotten,” Russian state media reported.

Putin said the plane crash will be investigated thoroughly but will take some time.

Initial reports suggest the Wagner group members were onboard the crashed plane, he added.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov told Russian media in South Africa after the BRICS summit that “one should focus on facts, and not on statements by Western media” regarding the crash of Prigozhin’s plane.

Prigozhin made headlines in June when he launched an “armed rebellion” against the Russian leadership before quickly aborting it.

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