Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the suspected assassination of Wagner Group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin for the first time Thursday, referring to him as a successful businessman.
Putin shared the words while attending a ceremony commemorating the World War II Battle of Kursk.
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his first public comments on the death of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, giving him measured praise as a "successful businessman."https://t.co/BiCcoadqdx
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) August 24, 2023
"I offer my condolences to the families of all who perished," Putin said. "Something like this is always a tragedy, and the preliminary data suggests that Wagner fighters were also on board."
"He was a talented person, a talented businessman, he worked not only in our country with results but also abroad," he continued.
Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin killed in plane crash in Russia, with nine other people on board also dead https://t.co/MyWc67NhPa
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) August 23, 2023
"Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was on the passenger list of a jet which crashed in Russia killing all 10 people on board, Russia's civil aviation authority says," the BBC reported.
"Wednesday's crash in the Tver region, north-west of the capital Moscow, comes on the same day that senior Russian general Sergei Surovikin was reportedly sacked as air force chief," it added.
Wagner fighters warn Putin ‘expect us’ after Prigozhin ‘killed in plane crash’. Since all Wagner mercenaries Are now marked men, I can imagine the string of killing inside the Russian establishment will go in both directions. https://t.co/dhb7HOSm4W
— Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) August 24, 2023
"Joe Biden’s remarks about Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s suspected death in a plane crash near Moscow were unacceptable, Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov has said," the Independent reported.
"The US president said on Wednesday that he was not surprised by the reports of Mr Prigozhin’s death, adding that not much happens in Russia that Vladimir Putin is not behind," it added.
The Wagner Group's plane crash came as a surprise to Ukraine's defense, with the nation's military claiming it was not involved in the matter.
The deaths come as Russia continues its attacks on Ukraine after more than a year in an attempt to retake the former Soviet republic.
Putin's words remained unconvincing to many as he sought to offer condolences for the families of those lost in the plane crash related to the Wagner Group leader.