Putin breaks silence after Prigozhin's plane crash, calling the Wagner boss a 'man of complicated fate' who made 'serious mistakes'

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has broken his silence on Yevgeny Prigozhin's suspected death.

  • He called the Wagner Group boss "a man of complicated fate" who made "serious mistakes" in life.

  • Prigozhin, who led a mutiny against Russia's military, was presumed dead after a private jet crashed outside Moscow on Wednesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday broke his silence on Yevgeny Prigozhin's apparent death in a plane crash, according to reports.

"First of all, I want to express my sincere condolences to the families of all the victims, this is always a tragedy," Putin said, according to CNN, adding, "Preliminary information suggests that Wagner Group employees were also on board."

"I've known Prigozhin for a long time, since the early '90s. He was a man of complicated fate and he made serious mistakes in his life," Putin said during a meeting at the Kremlin that was broadcast on Russian television, according to NBC News.

Putin called Prigozhin — the founder of the Russian paramilitary group who recently staged a short-lived mutiny against Russia's military — "a talented man, a talented businessman."

Prigozhin was presumed dead on Wednesday after a Wagner-affiliated private jet crashed in Russia's Tver region outside of Moscow.

In the aftermath, Russian state media reported that Prigozhin was listed as a passenger on the plane that went down, killing all 10 people on board.

Reuters, citing two anonymous United States officials, reported on Thursday that the US believes a surface-to-air missile that came from inside Russia may have shot down the plane.

There has been long-standing suspicion Prigozhin could face revenge from Putin and the Kremlin after the Wagner chief led the armed uprising in June against Russian military brass.

Prigozhin was initially allowed to leave Russia without being jailed and was staying in Belarus.

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