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Wagner Group will likely ‘disintegrate’ says Polish FM

The Wagner Group will likely disintegrate both politically and militarily," said Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau
Marian Zubrzycki/PAP

Political opponents who are seen as a threat to the rule of Russian President Vladimir Putin do not die of natural causes, the Polish foreign minister said in his comment to a report which indicated that leader of the mercenary Wagner Group had allegedly died in an air crash.

The Wagner Group will likely disintegrate both politically and militarily,” Minister Zbigniew Rau told a Polish public television programme on Wednesday.

Russia’s civilian aviation regulator, Rosaviatsia, said on Wednesday that a private jet had crashed in western Russia on Wednesday, killing all ten people aboard. Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was on the passenger list, but it was not immediately clear if he was on board.  

Rau expressed his conviction that this information would probably be confirmed, as “Putin’s political opponents do not die of natural causes.”

“It is enough to mention here Anna Politkovskaya, Boris Nemtsov or Alexander Litvinenko,” Rau said. 

According to Rau, it was surprising that Prigozhin managed to survive after the mutiny. “But the fact that he has probably died today is not surprising.”

“If the information about Prigozhin’s death is confirmed, this will unfortunately mean that direct supervision over the Wagner Group will be taken over by Putin’s people,” government spokesman Piotr Mueller said, adding that Vladimir Putin “had repeatedly ordered murders on the territory of various countries.”  

Prigozhin mounted a short-lived mutiny against Russia’s military leadership in late June. The Kremlin said at that time that he would be exiled to Belarus, but he had appeared to move freely inside Russia after the deal.

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