Kremlin Says 'Deliberate Wrongdoing' Among Possible Causes of Plane Crash that Killed Prigozhin

portrait of Wagner Group's chief Yevgeny Prigozhin
A portrait of Wagner Group's chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, who died last week in a plane crash two months after launching his brief rebellion, lies on flowers on the grave at the Porokhovskoye cemetery in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

MOSCOW — The Kremlin said Wednesday that “deliberate wrongdoing” is among the possible causes of the plane crash that killed mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin last week.

Speaking to reporters during his daily conference call, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov noted that “different versions” of what happened exist and “are being considered,” including “let's put this way, deliberate wrongdoing.”

He urged reporters to wait until the probe by the Russian Investigative Committee is concluded, and said there can't be an international investigation into it. The committee said last week it has opened a criminal case on charges of flight safety violations, a standard charge used in plane crash investigations in Russia when there is no immediate reason to suspect foul play.

    A business jet carrying Prigozhin, founder and leader of the private military force Wagner, and his top lieutenants crashed halfway between Moscow and St. Petersburg last Wednesday, killing all 10 people on board.

    The crash occurred exactly two months after Prigozhin mounted a short-lived armed rebellion against Russia's military leadership, posing the biggest challenge to President Vladimir Putin's authority in his 23-year rule. The Kremlin has denied involvement in the crash.

    Prigozhin was buried in St. Petersburg, his hometown, in a private ceremony that was shrouded in secrecy until Tuesday evening, when the mercenary leader's spokespeople revealed the location of his grave.

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