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The silent 'assassin': Putin makes no mention of Yevgeny Prigozhin's death in speech a day after mystery plane crash

World

Vladimir Putin

10 months ago
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Vladimir Putin has ignored the furore surrounding yesterday's plane crash in which Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin is believed to have been killed.

The Russian president made no mention of the mercenary chief's death in his address to world leaders at this week's BRICS summit today, instead congratulating South African president Cyril Ramaphosa on the announcement that six countries - including Iran and Saudi Arabia - will join the economic alliance next year.

That address came just hours after the Kremlin chief last night soaked up adulation at a concert celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Soviet Union's Second World War victory at the Battle of Kursk - despite news of Prigozhin's plane crash breaking earlier in the day.

A clip showed the moment the despot greeted a raucous crowd who screamed 'we are with you, we love you', before a woman dressed in a pink jacket cried: 'Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin], my favourite,' and planted an enthusiastic kiss on his face.

Yevgeny Prigozhin

Meanwhile, Russian media outlet rucriminal.info - a site that seeks to expose the corruption and underhand tactics utilised by Moscow's elite - claimed that Prigozhin's plane was delayed before takeoff for 'technical inspections', adding to speculation the aircraft was targeted by a bomb.

The outlet claimed Kristina Raspopova - a stewardess aboard Prigozhin's stricken plane - told her family prior to takeoff that the flight had been delayed due to technical problems and that a team was carrying out undisclosed repairs.

UK intelligence sources told the earlier today BBC they had reason to suspect Russia's domestic security service, the FSB, was behind the plane crash.

But Prigozhin's death has not yet been officially confirmed, leading to speculation the Wagner chief may still be alive.

It comes as images and videos of Wagner supporters crying as they placed wreaths and flowers in tribute to their fallen leader have begun circulating on social media.

Putin addresses BRICS summit after Wagner chief presumed dead

source: Daily Mail UK