Ukraine’s Zelensky: Kyiv not involved in Wagner plane crash

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday that his country had “nothing to do” with the plane crash in which Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin is presumed to have died.

“Everyone is aware who is involved,” Zelensky told journalists.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin made no mention of the crash when he addressed an international summit earlier.

Authorities say all 10 people on the plane were killed when it crashed near Moscow. Passengers included Prigozhin and his right-hand man Dmitry Utkin.

There is continued speculation about what happened. UK defence sources tell the BBC that Russia’s FSB intelligence agency is most likely to be responsible.

The Wagner mercenary group was very active in Ukraine, until Prigozhin led a short-lived mutiny against the Russian military leadership in June. Putin called the mutiny “treachery” at the time.

The BBC’s security correspondent, Frank Gardner, said the crash was a “major blow” to the Wagner group.

“Prigozhin was the group’s founder and financier, and his death is a major loss,” Gardner said. “It’s also a major embarrassment for Putin, who had personally backed the group.”

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