Is this the last photo of Wagner’s Yevgeny Prigozhin alive?

As Wagner Group warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin is buried six days after the dramatic plane crash that killed him, is this the last photo of him alive?

  •  The Wagner chief was buried yesterday in St Petersburg, six days after his death
  • Latest photo shows the leader in the Central African Republic with wellwishers

Dressed like a tourist, Yevgeny Prigozhin poses with wellwishers in what is thought to be the last photograph of him alive.

The warlord was buried yesterday in his home city six days after his death in a plane crash.

The Wagner chief was among ten people killed when his executive jet was sabotaged on a flight from Moscow to St Petersburg – soon after his return from a visit to Africa.

A private funeral took place in St Petersburg amid tight security – and also amid speculation that a body double, rather than Prigozhin, actually died in the crash.

There was no representative from the Kremlin, where Vladimir Putin is widely suspected of having plotted his former friend’s assassination. Last Wednesday, Prigozhin’s Embraer Legacy 600 plane was seen in flames before it plummeted to the ground north of Moscow.

Yevgeny Prigozhin posing with wellwishers while visiting the Central African Republic, in what is thought to be his last photo alive

A bomb is thought to have been detonated on the flight, although smoke trails seen may indicate the jet was targeted by a surface to air missile.

The latest photo, which emerged yesterday, shows the mercenary leader in the Central African Republic. CAR is one of many African states where Wagner has provided security to the ruling elites in return for a stake in the country’s highly valuable natural resources.

Releasing the picture, the Wagner group bizarrely hailed the brutal Prigozhin as a ‘second Nelson Mandela’, writing that he was ‘with the grateful people of Africa’. Prigozhin, who was usually seen wearing military fatigues, looks relaxed in jeans and a casual short-sleeved shirt.

Just hours later he began the fateful journey home which ended in his death. However, there was speculation yesterday that he is still alive.

A respected Russian political analyst suggested Prigozhin’s body double was killed in the crash.

Dr Valery Solovey claimed the Kremlin was lying about Prigozhin’s DNA being found at the crash site.

A portrait of Prigozhin in a makeshift memorial of the mercenary leader

The former professor at Moscow’s prestigious Institute of International Relations said: ‘Prigozhin himself was not on board. His body double was flying instead of him. By the way, Vladimir Putin is perfectly aware of that.

‘If you believe the official statements of the Russian authorities, then what can I say?

‘He intends to take revenge on the people who intended to destroy him and destroyed people close to him.’

In a statement on the Telegram social media platform, Prigozhin’s press service said: ‘The farewell to Yevgeny… took place in a closed format. Those who wish to say goodbye may visit Porokhovskoye cemetery.’

The Wagner chief died two months after leading a mutiny against the Kremlin which, briefly, looked likely to plunge Russia into civil war when Prigozhin and thousands of his soldiers drove from the Ukraine front towards Moscow. Putin banished him to Belarus as punishment.


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