Alexander Lukashenko denied the possible involvement of Vladimir Putin in the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, and also assured that PMC Wagner would remain in Belarus despite the death of its founder. This is reported by the Belarusian state agency “Belta”.
Speaking about the death of the founder of Wagner PMC in a plane crash in the Tver region, Lukashenko said that it was hard for him to believe that Putin was behind Prigozhin’s death.
“I know Putin. He is a prudent, very calm and even slow person, making decisions on other, less complex issues. Therefore, I cannot imagine that Putin did this, that Putin is to blame. Too rough, unprofessional work, for that matter “, he noted.
At the same time, according to Lukashenka, he did not give Prigozhin personal security guarantees.
“I don’t have to ensure Prigozhin’s safety. This is, firstly. Secondly, the conversation has never gone in such a vein. And thirdly, remember: for security reasons, we approached this twice. The first time I called him and negotiations were going on when they were marching on Moscow. I told him: “Zhen, you understand, you will kill people and die yourself?” In the heat of this man (only from the front): “To hell with him, I will die!” > The second time he came to me with Dima Utkin, I categorically warned them both: “Guys, look,” Lukashenka said.
Answering a question about the Wagner PMC units stationed in Belarus, Lukashenka assured that they would remain: the “core” of the PMC would be located in the republic, and the mercenaries themselves could live and work in the country “as long as we need this unit.”
“These pictures from space show that we are dismantling something… Why are we removing extra tents? We don’t need so much. appearances in this core are known. Within a few days everyone will be here, up to 10 thousand people,” Lukashenka said, commenting on the news that 101 tent from 273.
On the evening of August 23, the plane belonging to the founder of Wagner PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin crashed in the Tver region. The business jet was flying from Moscow to St. Petersburg. There were 10 people on board, including three crew members. The search operation at the crash site near Tver has been completed, the remains of all ten people on board have been found.
Official information about the death of Prigozhin has not yet been confirmed, but the possible death of a businessman is indirectly confirmed by the official body – the Federal Air Transport Agency. According to the agency, Prigozhin and the commander of a private military company, Dmitry Utkin, are on the passenger lists. The crash of the plane belonging to Prigozhin occurred exactly two months after the rebellion of the founder of the PMC.
The commanders of the PMC “Wagner” confirmed the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, and telegram channels close to the PMC urged to wait for official confirmation. The Telegram channel Baza, citing sources, writes that none of the bodies of those killed in the plane crash have yet been identified, because the bodies were badly burned. The biological material of the dead was sent to Moscow for genetic testing.
In turn, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that Kyiv had nothing to do with the crash of a private plane, the passenger list of which includes the head of Wagner PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin.