Espreso. Global

Lukashenko says he warned Prigozhin, Putin about upcoming attempt on Wagner leader’s life

25 August, 2023 Friday
20:55

Self-proclaimed Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko says that he allegedly knew about a possible assassination attempt on Yevgeny Prigozhin, warned him and Russian leader Vladimir Putin

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This is reported by the Belarusian BelTA news agency.

"The last time we flew to the Emirates, I received very serious information from sources that are not to be found anywhere else about an attempt on Yevgeny Prigozhin's life," Lukashenko said.

According to Lukashenko, within two hours, he ordered to find the Russian ambassador to the UAE. Lukashenko allegedly passed him a ciphergraph to the Kremlin about the upcoming assassination attempt on Prigozhin.

Some time later, the Belarusian president asked Yevgeny Prigozhin if this information had reached him. The founder of the Wagner PMC confirmed that Putin had warned him of a possible assassination attempt.

Details regarding Prigozhin’s plane crash

On August 23, a business jet belonging to Yevgeny Prigozhin, an Embraer aircraft, crashed in Russia's Tver region, resulting in the confirmed deaths of 10 individuals. Among the passengers was Dmitry Utkin, a key figure in Wagner PMC. Multiple theories have emerged about the crash: 1) the plane might have been downed by an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system; 2) it could have been hit by air defense systems; 3) an explosion might have occurred onboard.

Subsequently, the Institute for the Study of War suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin might have ordered the assassination of Wagner PMC leader Yevgeny Prigozhin to reassert dominance and seek revenge.

One version from Russian media indicated that an explosive device was planted in the landing gear of the plane carrying Wagner PMC leader Yevgeny Prigozhin. This device would have detonated at a specific moment, leading to wing and stabilizer detachment.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that Ukraine was not involved in the plane's downing and made light of the situation by joking that such "aircraft assistance" wasn't what Ukraine had asked for.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speculated that after Prigozhin's probable death, Wagner operatives might continue to destabilize Belarus' neighboring countries.

The US officials suggest that the aircraft, carrying passengers linked to Wagner PMC leadership, was likely shot down by a missile from Russian territory.

The Russian leader also reacted to Prigozhin's death, referring to the Wagner leader as a man with a difficult fate who achieved necessary results but also made significant mistakes.

ISW analysts believe that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's willingness to publicly kill Wagner's leadership is likely to prompt the PMC's Council of Commanders to refrain from publicly appointing successors to Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin.

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