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Biden responds to Wagner chief’s alleged plane death and implies Putin involvement: ‘I’m not surprised’

Biden responds to Wagner chief’s alleged plane death and implies Putin involvement: ‘I’m not surprised’

The fate of Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin is still unknown after the plane he was reportedly on crashed near Moscow earlier today.

It hasn’t been confirmed whether Prigozhin is dead or if he was even on the plane but many officials, including President Joe Biden, have said his presumed death would not come as a surprise.

“I don’t know for a fact what happened but I’m not surprised,” Biden told reporters in response to the news shortly after being briefed.

When asked if he thought Russian President Valdimir Putin was behind it, the president responded: “There’s not much that happens in Russia that Putin’s not behind. But I don’t know enough to know the answer. I’ve been working out for the last hour and a half.”

Prigozhin is thought to be among 10 people who were killed in the crash.

The plane carrying three pilots and seven passengers was en route from Moscow to St. Petersburg, according to officials cited by Russia’s state news agency Tass.

Prigozhin was on the passenger list for the plane, but it wasn’t immediately clear if he was on board.

Some have speculated that the crash may have been just a plausible excuse for Putin to eliminate a rival.

Although Prigozhin and Putin were formerly close, after the Wagner chief led an uprising against the Kremlin in June, many have speculated about his fate.

Prigozhin is thought to be among the 10 people who were killed in the crash


“We have seen the reports,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson wrote in a tweet in response to the news. “If confirmed, no one should be surprised.”

Former US special advisor Mark Voyager told Sky News: “We should not forget that the disappearance or the removal of some of Putin’s enemies over the years have been linked to suspect aircraft crashes.

“It would not be a surprise if Putin has yet again chosen a method that provides some plausible deniability.”

Dr Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, said: “Prigozhin caused the biggest shock of Putin’s rule.

“Putin needs to reassert his authority. Those travelling with Prigozhin will be his associates and not neutrals – taking them out actually helps Putin as it reduces his enemies count.

“In short, this was too good an opportunity for Putin not to take.”

As the news about the crash was breaking, Putin spoke at an event commemorating…

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