Another video of Prigozhin surfaces from days before his death

August 31, 2023

Another video of former Wagner PMC boss Yevgeny Prigozhin surfaced Thursday, appearing to have been taken days before he died in a plane crash. 

In the video Prigozhin says, “For those discussing whether I am alive or not and how I am doing: it’s the weekend, the second half of August 2023, I am in Africa. So, fans of discussing my death, intimate life, earnings, etc., I am doing fine.”

That’s according to an English translation by Anton Gerashchenko, Advisor to Ukraine’s Minister of the Interior.

What appears to be a watermark saying, “Wagner Grey Zone” is stamped on the video.

Prigozhin was on a private plane that crashed north of Moscow en route to St. Petersburg on August 23. This Sunday, Russian officials said DNA analysis confirmed Prigozhin was among the seven passengers and three crew killed in the crash.

On Wednesday, the Kremlin admitted that the crash could have been caused by a “deliberate atrocity,” though spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said an investigation involving international law enforcement would not be possible because the probe into the crash is “specifically a Russian investigation.”

That assertion came one day after the Kremlin announced Prigozhin had been buried in a “closed format” private funeral and that all those “wishing to say goodbye can visit the Porokhovskoye cemetery.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin did not attend the funeral, even though he has said his relationship with Prigozhin had gone back to “the early 90s.”

Prigozhin, a former hot dog vendor, rose to power as “Putin’s Chef” for his close ties to Putin and his role as a caterer to the Kremlin. In 2014 he founded Wagner and deployed his mercenaries in support of Moscow’s allies in countries including Syria, Libya and the Central African Republic. The U.S. has sanctioned the mercenary organization and accused it of atrocities, which Prigozhin denied.

Prigozhin was last seen publicly in a video posted August 21—two days before the crash—in which he also claimed to be in Africa. He appeared to be wearing the same combat fatigues in that video that he was wearing in the newly-surfaced video.

On Friday, June 23, Prigozhin led his Wagner PMC mercenaries on a brief uprising against Russian military brass, marching his columns into the Russian city of Rostov near Ukraine’s front lines. Prigozhin said his fighters “blockaded” the town “without firing a single shot.”

It ended the next day, after a deal was struck by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, which stipulated that Prigozhin’s mercenaries would receive immunity, and that charges brought against Prigozhin himself would be dropped once he turned his columns away from their subsequent march toward Moscow. Before turning back, some 8,000 of Prigozhin’s mercenaries had come within 125 kilometers of the capital city.

PHOTO: @Gerashchenko_en

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