‘Absolute lie’ — Kremlin denies involvement in Wagner leader’s death


Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has debunked insinuations that the Kremlin orchestrated Yevgeny Prigozhin’s death.


Prigozhin, leader of the mercenary Wagner Group, was presumed dead on Wednesday after Russia’s agency for air transport listed him among the casualties of a plane crash.


The Wagner Group had been fighting alongside Russian troops in Ukraine until its leader led a rebellion against Putin.


United States President Joe Biden had expressed worries about Prighozin’s safety after the failed mutiny.


The uprising was considered the greatest threat to Putin in his 24-year rule.


“I said I would be careful what I rode in. I don’t know for a fact what happened, but I’m not surprised,” Biden said after Prigozhin’s death was announced.


The US president added that there is “not much that happens in Russia that Putin is not behind, but I don’t know enough to know the answer”.


Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Peskov said suggestions from the west that Putin had a hand in Prigozhin’s death were an “absolute lie”.


Peskov said Putin had not met Prigozhin recently, and added that an investigation into the crash was ongoing.


Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said Biden’s comments about Prigozhin’s death were unacceptable.

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