The leader of the Wagner Group is presumed dead after a private plane crashes near Moscow
Unverified video footage shows the private plane of Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin falling from the sky near Moscow, killing all 10 people on board.
Damien Henderson, Associated Press
The charismatic Ukrainian fighter pilot Andrei “Joyce” Pilchikov was one of the three pilots killed when two L-39 military jets collided in northwest Ukraine, authorities said.
Details of Friday’s incident were not immediately released. Pilchikov was the driving force behind Ukraine’s efforts to acquire F-16 fighter jets, was fluent in English and was frequently interviewed by Western media. Spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Yuriy Ihnat Description of Pilchikov as “a young officer of great knowledge and immense talent”. Ahnat credited Pilchikov, a recipient of the prestigious Medal of Courage, with spearheading various reforms in the Air Force.
“I have often supported his crazy ideas, which have yielded amazing results,” Ihnat wrote in a Facebook post.
Major Vyacheslav Minka and Major Sergey Prokazin were also killed. President Volodymyr Zelensky described the accident as a “disaster in the sky” over Ukraine’s Zhytomyr region.
“My heart goes out to the pilots’ friends and loved ones,” he said. “The investigation continues, and the truth will be revealed. Ukraine will never forget all those who defended its free skies.”
◾ The Russian military said its long-range missiles attacked an airport near Kiev and that “the purpose of the strike was achieved.”
President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Ukrainian ship laden with steel destined for Africa has arrived in Romanian waters after successfully navigating through a temporary passage on the Black Sea designed to avoid a Russian blockade.
Russian investigators said Sunday that DNA tests on human remains found in a private plane crash northwest of Moscow that killed all 10 people last week have confirmed the death of Wagner Group mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin.
“The genetic tests have been completed,” Svetlana Petrenko, a spokeswoman for Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency, said in a press release. Telegram post. “According to their findings, the identities of the 10 dead have been identified, and they match the list mentioned in the flight paper,” he added.
The manifest for the Embraer business jet Prigozhin—a former restaurateur and longtime friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin—listed a crew of three and six of Prigozhin’s top aides. These deaths dealt a crushing blow to the group of mercenaries that have proven to be among the most effective Russian military units in Ukraine as well as in Syria, Sudan and many other countries. Prigozhin earned the status of a folk hero among the Russian people, but his relentless criticism of the Russian military establishment and its leaders, which led to an ill-fated 36-hour mutiny, alienated him from Putin’s favour.
An initial US intelligence assessment determined that Wednesday’s crash was caused by a deliberate explosion, according to US and Western officials, who were not authorized to comment and spoke on condition of anonymity. The Kremlin has rejected suggestions of involvement in the accident, and the investigation into the cause is still ongoing.
Ivan Fomin, an associate professor at Moscow University until he left Russia days after the invasion of Ukraine, says Prigozhin’s death cannot cure Putin’s political ills.
“The problem Putin is facing is not limited to a single rebellious former restaurateur, and therefore cannot be solved by assassination alone.” Fomin wrote In an opinion article for the Moscow Times. He added, “Instead, he should find a way to deal with a fairly broad group of people who support tougher policies and a more aggressive military campaign in Ukraine.”
The day after the accident, Putin expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and credited Prigozhin for his “significant contribution” to Russia’s war effort.
“He was a man with a difficult fate, who made serious mistakes in life,” Putin said, adding that he “achieved the results he needed.”
Zelensky said on Sunday that the new military aid packages already underway pave the way for a “productive September”. He added that international support continues to grow, as does artillery, armored vehicles, missiles and mine-clearing equipment. He added that global food security remains a constant priority, as Ukraine is working to deliver its grain to countries that need it most despite the Russian blockade.
“The united world is stronger than the aggressor,” Zelensky wrote. Twitter. “In September, there will be more unity.”
A military correspondent for the Crimean-based Russian newspaper Newsfront was wounded in an assassination attempt by Ukrainian forces in the Kherson region, according to the acting Russian governor, Vladimir Saldo. Sunday claimed. Saldo, a Ukrainian who sided with Russia when the war began, said Ukrainian militants used an armed drone to hit the reporter’s car, known as Lex. The car was seriously damaged. Saldo did not provide any details of the extent of the reporter’s injury. The Ukrainian authorities did not immediately comment on the Russian allegation.
Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops in the Kopyansk-Lyman direction on the front in Kharkiv and Luhansk, Eastern Force Group press officer Ilya Yvlash said Thursday. The troops are supplying the Russian forces with their own offensive even though the Ukrainian advance is slowly recapturing territory that Russia captured in the early months of the 18-month war. The Russian forces occupied the two cities before liberating them last year.
“As Ukraine continues to make incremental gains in the south, Russian doctrine indicates that it will attempt to regain the initiative by returning to the offensive at the operational level,” the British Ministry of Defense said in a statement. last evaluation. “Kobyansk-Lehman is one potential area for this.”
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