Putin won’t attend Prigozhin funeral, officials say

Russian President Vladimir Putin does not plan on attending the funeral of former Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, who died in a plane crash last week after leading a short-lived rebellion against top Russian military leaders this summer, the Kremlin said Tuesday.

Some Russian news outlets reported that Prigozhin’s funeral could be held as early as Tuesday. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters, however, that he would not comment on the timing or location of Prigozhin’s burial.

“The president’s presence is not planned,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday, per The Washington Post. “We do not have any information about the funeral. After all, the decision on this matter is made by family and friends.”

Prigozhin, who had once been a Putin ally, died in a plane crash last week along with nine other people, including Prigozhin’s right-hand man, Dmitry Utkin, and Wagner’s logistics chief, Valery Chekalov. 

A Russian investigation concluded on Sunday that the DNA of those on board matched the 10 individuals listed on the flight manifest, including Prigozhin. 

U.S. officials had previously said they believed the plane exploded form an internal bomb which they said was consistent with Putin’s “long history of trying to silence his critics.”

The Kremlin adamantly denied those accusations and accused the West of perpetuating “absolute lies.”

Putin on Friday commented on his complicated relationship with Prigozhin, saying the mercenary leader “had a difficult fate” and “made serious mistakes in life.” 

Putin added, however, that Prigozhin “achieved the necessary results in his life, both for himself and when I asked him to do so for the common goal.”

A funeral was reportedly held at St. Petersburg’s Northern Cemetery for Chekalov. The city’s Fontanka news outlet said the funeral for Prigozhin could be held at Serafimovskoye cemetary, which was used for high-profile burials, but no service was seen on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top