Espreso. Global

Prigozhin, Utkin have doubles, there is no certainty about their deaths – military expert

9 September, 2023 Saturday

Military expert Dmytro Sniehyriov believes that the simultaneous presence of the main commanders of the Wagner PMC on the same flight is nonsense


He said this on Espreso TV. 

"Let me remind you that at one time, a representative of the Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, Yusov, came out and said that Dmitry Utkin was killed, but that they were not convinced of Prigozhin's death. And just today, another intelligence representative, Skibitsky, said that he would not rush to conclusions about Prigozhin's death. In my opinion, it was still a cover-up operation. There is every reason to believe that not only Prigozhin, but also Utkin, are alive. DNA analysis was carried out according to the passenger list. Both Utkin and Prigozhin had official doubles," the military expert noted.

Dmytro Sniehyriov emphasized that everyone is focusing on Prigozhin's three doubles, forgetting that the commander of the Wagner PMC, Dmitry Utkin, also had an official double. It is all the more telling that the person who was considered to be the managing partner of Prigozhin's company, and his tax numbers do not match Dmitry Utkin's tax numbers, although in both cases Dmitry Utkin was there. And there are many such discrepancies in the facts.

"The main thing is that, according to the security protocol, three main leaders of the Wagner PMC were not supposed to be on board at the same time. This is nonsense. Accordingly, someone had to create a picture of the simultaneous death of the Wagner PMC's commanders. I repeat, there is no absolute certainty about the deaths of Prigozhin, Utkin and the head of the security service of the Wagner PMC," he summarized.

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 the 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.

Experts in the investigation of the plane crash in the Tver region of Russia on August 27 have completed molecular genetic examinations. In particular, the study confirmed the death of the founder of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

On September 6, the Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate confirmed the information about the death of Dmitry Utkin, an accomplice of Wagner PMC leader, in a plane crash in the Tver region of Russia on August 23, but they are not 100% sure that Yevgeny Prigozhin himself died.

The Main Intelligence Directorate suggests that confirmation of the death of Wagner PMC leader Yevgeny Prigozhin is still pending.

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