A Russian political analyst has claimed warlord, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is alive after his “body double” was killed in last week’s plane crash – not the Wagner chief himself.
Prigozhin is “alive, well, and free” in an unnamed country, according to Dr Valery Solovey, even as Russia stages his funeral which Vladimir Putin is refusing to attend.
The astonishing assertion holds that Prigozhin cheated an assassination bid sanctioned by Putin and drawn up by his security council, DailyMail reports.
Prigozhin is now plotting his revenge, says the political analyst, a former professor at Moscow’s prestigious Institute of International Relations [MGIMO], a training school for spies and diplomats.
Dr Solovey accuses the Russian authorities of lying over Prigozhin’s DNA being found at the crash site in Tver region, while being aware the bid to kill the Wagner supremo had failed because a body double – which the warlord was known to use – got on the plane in his place
First, the plane in which Yevgeny Prigozhin was supposed to fly was downed by a Russian air defence system, he said, challenging US intelligence claims that the plane was destroyed by a blast on board.
“There was no explosion on board. It was downed from the outside.”
The secret operation to carry out this strike “was developed in [Russia’s] Security Council, and was sanctioned personally by the Russian president [Vladimir Putin].”
The warlord is now “alive, well, and free,” Solovey claims.
“Prigozhin himself was not on board. His double was flying instead of him. By the way, Vladimir Putin is perfectly aware of that. If you believe official statements of the Russian authorities, then what can I say…?”
Dr Solovey said he would reveal Prigozhin’s supposed country of exile early next month but denied it was in Africa where the Wagner private army has multiple interests.
It had been reported that Prigozhin was laid to rest at the Porokhovskoye cemetery in St. Petersburg, Russia, the deceased businessman’s media team announced on Tuesday.
His burial came six days after he died in a plane crash, in Russia’s Moscow capital.
On Tuesday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters Russian President Vladimir Putin — who Prigozhin rose up against in June — would not attend the funeral.
According to a report by RT, the funeral was held behind closed doors, with only close relatives and friends of Prigozhin in attendance.