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Private funeral held in St Petersburg for Wagner boss Prigozhin

A portrait of the owner of private military company Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin.
A portrait of the owner of private military company Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin. Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews with EFE and AP
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A private funeral was reportedly held in St. Petersburg for the Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin which Russian President Vladimir Putin did not attend

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A private funeral has reportedly taken place for the Wagner Group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin who died in a plane crash on the 23rd of August.

A statement from Wagner said: "The last farewell to Yevgeny Viktorovich was held behind closed doors. Those who want to say goodbye to him can visit the Porokhovskoe cemetery."

The statement did not say whether Prigozhin is actually buried in the mentioned cemetery.

Earlier, the Kremlin made it clear that President Putin would not be at the funeral.

"The president's attendance is not planned," Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in his daily telephone press briefing, insisting that all arrangements for Prigozhin's funeral were being handled by his family.

The country’s top criminal investigation agency, the Investigative Committee, officially confirmed Prigozhin’s death on Sunday.

The committee didn’t say what might have caused Prigozhin’s business jet to plummet from the sky minutes after taking off from Moscow en route to St. Petersburg. Just before the crash, Prigozhin had returned from a trip to Africa, where he sought to expand the Wagner Group’s activities. 

US says intentional explosion caused crash

A preliminary US intelligence assessment concluded that an intentional explosion caused the plane to go down, and Western officials have pointed to a long list of Putin’s foes who have been assassinated. 

The Kremlin rejected Western allegations that the Russian president was behind the crash as an “absolute lie.” 

The crash came exactly two months after Prigozhin launched a rebellion against the Russian military leadership, leading his mercenaries to take over the military headquarters in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don and then launching a march on Moscow. 

They downed several military aircraft, killing more than a dozen pilots. Putin denounced the revolt as “treason” and vowed to punish its perpetrators but hours later struck a deal that saw Prigozhin ending the mutiny in exchange for amnesty and permission for him and his troops to move to Belarus.

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