Russian President Vladimir Putin broke his silence, condoning Prigozhin’s family.
The mysterious downing of the plane of Yevgeny Prigozhin, former leader of the Wagner mercenary group, has sparked various theories from world powers and defense agencies.
UK allegations about the Federal Security Service
As reported by Frank Gardner, BBC security correspondent, UK defense sources have said that Prigozhin’s plane may have been “probably shot down by Russia’s Federal Security Service,” the country’s main security agency and successor of the former KGB.
This report is in line with the statements of Reuters, which stated that “the United States believes that a surface-to-air missile from inside Russia shot the plane down.” In delving into the incident, Gardner suggests that the action may have been executed to strengthen the position of Prigozhin’s internal adversaries: Shoigu and Gerasimov.
The New York Times also published audiovisual material where the plane in question can be seen descending abruptly, leaving behind a visible column of smoke.
The Russian response and Putin’s words
Amid the international uproar, Russian President Vladimir Putin broke his silence, conveying condolences to Prigozhin’s family, marking his first public intervention some two months after Prigozhin led an uprising against the Kremlin.
Despite speculation from the United Kingdom and the United States, the Russian authorities have opened an official investigation into the accident without providing, so far, details about their conclusions or the underlying causes of the accident.
History of Putin’s opponents
In the context of this event, Reuters launched a parallel report on Putin’s former rivals who faced assassination attempts. Several opponents, such as Alexei Navalny, Sergei Skripal, Alexander Litvinenko and Viktor Yushchenko, who have suffered poisonings, are highlighted in this report.