The death of Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group paramilitary force, in a plane crash outside Moscow last week has been confirmed by Russia’s Investigative Committee. The investigation will continue to probe the cause of the crash, the committee said, but Western analysts say the true cause may never be known because of opaque and often politicized investigations in Russia.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
Prigozhin’s death was confirmed via DNA testing, the committee said. The investigation had confirmed the identities of all 10 people killed when the Embraer business jet crashed Aug. 23. The victims include two of Prigozhin’s close associates, as well as three crew members. Aviation experts told The Washington Post that evidence points away from a mechanical problem or human error being behind the crash, though they said the lack of information made a definitive conclusion difficult.
Three Ukrainian pilots were killed Friday in a midair collision, according to the Ukrainian air force. Two L-39 combat training aircraft collided during a combat mission, the air force said. One of the men killed was a well-known pilot, known by his call sign, “Juice,” who had appealed to Congress for Kyiv to be provided with F-16 jets
U.N. investigators will visit Ukraine on Monday to probe alleged human rights violations and abuses. The members of the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry will visit Uman and Kyiv, among other locations, before presenting their findings next month.
A second vessel has left Ukraine through a temporary Black Sea corridor, according to Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov. The ship, which departed from the port of Odessa, is carrying steel bound for Africa. The previous vessel to use the corridor left Aug. 16 with a shipment of grain.
Two people were killed after a factory was struck by a Russian missile, the acting governor of Poltava region, Dmytro Lunin, said in a Telegram post Monday morning local time. Two others were hospitalized and two more people may be stuck under the rubble, he said.
Russian forces killed two women in separate attacks in Ukraine on Sunday, according to regional governors. One was killed in the northeastern city of Kharkiv and the other in Kherson, in the country’s south.
Russian air defenses destroyed a drone headed for Moscow, according to the mayor, Sergei Sobyanin. There were no casualties and no damage was reported, he said in a Telegram post early Monday local time. Russia’s Defense Ministry said it had downed two Ukraine-dispatched drones over its Bryansk and Kursk regions the previous evening. The Post could not independently verify the claims.
Wagner chief Prigozhin’s lingering popularity a challenge for Putin: Even in death, Yevgeniy Prigozhin is posing one last challenge for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Some Russians have created public memorials for Prigozhin, a public display of affection and support for the late head of the Wagner Group paramilitary force who led a short-lived mutiny against the Russian military in June.
Though the memorials are far from a national outpouring of grief, they highlight the balancing act required by the Kremlin as it attempts to manage potential anger among Prigozhin’s supporters, The Post’s Moscow bureau chief Robyn Dixon reports. The memorials are occurring against the backdrop of suspicion among many in Russia’s elite that the Wagner chief’s death was an assassination ordered by Putin.