Former ‘Chef’ to Putin and Wagner group leader Prigozhin laid to rest in St. Petersburg

A discreet ceremony has been held to commemorate the passing of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian mercenary chief who tragically lost his life in a private jet crash last week.

Although the circumstances surrounding his death remain shrouded in mystery, the Kremlin has dismissed speculations of any government involvement.

At the age of 62, Prigozhin was the mastermind behind the Wagner private military company, which has faced allegations of carrying out covert operations, including assassinations, on behalf of the Russian state. He also maintained a close alliance with President Vladimir Putin.

Notably, Putin opted not to attend Prigozhin’s funeral, though no public information has been released regarding the timing or location of the ceremony.

Prigozhin’s demise has stirred speculation regarding the future of the Wagner group. The organization had suffered significant losses in Ukraine, and it remains unclear who will step into Prigozhin’s shoes as its leader.

Some observers ponder the possibility that the Kremlin might have played a role in Prigozhin’s demise to mitigate a potential liability. Prigozhin had grown increasingly outspoken in recent months, culminating in his audacious order for his troops to march on Moscow in June, which was interpreted as a direct challenge to Putin’s authority.

Others maintain that Prigozhin’s death resulted from an unfortunate accident. The private jet he was traveling in crashed amid adverse weather conditions, claiming the lives of all onboard.

Regardless of the cause, Prigozhin’s passing is a momentous event. He wielded significant influence in both Russian politics and business, and his death is poised to reverberate for years to come.