The Kremlin acknowledged on Wednesday that there is a possibility that the private plane in which Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner mercenary group, was traveling was intentionally shot down.
Since the news broke that the aircraft carrying the mercenary who orchestrated the failed rebellion against Russia's military leaders crashed, many rumors emerged that it was Putin himself who ordered the assassination of Prigozhin in revenge for the coup attempt.
However, until now, the Kremlin had not even mentioned that possibility. About 24 hours after the plane crash, Russia's president appeared publicly, sending condolences to the victims' families and recalling the close relationship he once had with Prigozhin, calling him "a talented person" who made "serious mistakes in life."
But on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov finally spoke of the possibility that the death of the leader of the Wagner group was an assassination.
After reporters asked about the investigation into the incident, Peskov stated, "Different versions are being considered, including the version—you know what we are talking about—let's say, a deliberate atrocity."
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Later, reporters also asked if the International Civil Aviation Organization would be involved in the investigation. However, the Kremlin spokesman limited himself to saying that we will have to wait for the results of the Russian investigation.
The Embraer aircraft in which Prigozhin was traveling crashed under strange circumstances, not only because the plane model has such a good safety record that it has only one accident registered in more than two decades of service but also because flight tracking data did not find any problems in the plane until it began to have an unexpected and steep fall in its last 30 seconds.