Dhe Kremlin denied on Friday that it ordered the death of Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin. "This is an absolute lie," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. The case of the plane crash, in which the mercenary leader may have died northwest of Moscow on Wednesday evening, must be dealt with "on the basis of facts". The investigations into the cause of the crash were ongoing. The results would be published when they became available. Peskov avoided a direct answer when asked whether he could confirm the death of the mercenary boss.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who viewed Prigozhin as a traitor over an armed rebellion two months ago, spoke about the mercenary leader in the past tense on Thursday evening. This was a "capable" man who made "serious mistakes". Putin also said that if Wagner members were on board the crashed plane, "I would like to note that they are people who made a significant contribution to our common effort to fight the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine." .
According to a spokesman, the federal government has no own information about Prigozhin's presumed death. The report was noted, said the spokesman in Berlin, adding: "A violent end to Prigozhin would not be particularly surprising."
A spokesman for the Foreign Office added that it was initially "an internal Russian matter". Some members of the opposition in Russia have already died violently. "There's a pattern there," he said. However, no conclusions can yet be drawn about Prigozhin's fate. At the end of June, after long-simmering disputes with competitors in the Ministry of Defense, among others, Prigozhin started a march on Moscow, shooting down Russian helicopters, for example, but broke off the rebellion shortly before the capital for unexplained reasons.
All developments in the live ticker:
16:50 - Defense Minister Reznikov: "Death of Prigozhin weakened Putin"
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov sees Russian President Vladimir Putin as burdened by the death of Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin. “The death of Prigozhin weakened Putin. Because that showed the world: If Putin makes any agreement with anyone and breaks this agreement, that means that you can no longer trust him," Resnikov told WELT AM SONNTAG.
For actors within Russia, there is obviously no point in sitting down with Putin and discussing agreements for the future. "It's just the behavior of gangsters and the Kremlin behaves like gangsters, like criminals." However, he does not assume that the death of the Wagner boss will have any impact on the course of the war, said Resnikov. “Actually, there is no longer a Wagner group like you could see as a serious force a year ago. They're broken," the Secretary of Defense said. Paul Ronzheimer
“What Wagner did was something completely new”
3:36 pm - Estonia's PM under pressure over her husband's Russia deals
Because of her husband's professional connections to Russia, the opposition and several media in Estonia have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. The opposition Center Party announced on Friday talks about a motion of no confidence in the prime minister. The opposition Isamaa party said Kallas had to resign immediately because of the "great damage to Estonia's interests and reputation".
On Wednesday, radio station ERR reported that a logistics company partly owned by Kallas' husband Arvo Hallik continued to operate in Russia despite Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine and EU sanctions imposed since then.
Prime Minister Kallas responded to the report and assured that all business with Russia must be stopped "as long as the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine continues". However, her husband's company only supports one Estonian customer in Russia "in accordance with the laws and imposed sanctions". Hallik announced hewill immediately sell his shares in the logistics company "Stark Logistics" and withdraw from the company.
3:31 p.m. - Discussion on possible renewal of grain agreement - Turkish Foreign Minister in Kyiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy received the Turkish Foreign Minister in Kiev on Friday to discuss a new edition of the grain agreement. Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan has arrived in the Ukrainian capital, Zelenskyj said in the online service Telegram. The Turkish Foreign Ministry also confirmed the visit.
2:56 p.m. – Russian mercenaries will have to swear allegiance to the state in the future
Members of Russian paramilitary organizations such as the Wagner mercenary group will in future have to swear an oath of allegiance to the Russian state. President Vladimir Putin signed a corresponding decree on Friday two days after the alleged death of Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin in a plane crash.
According to the decree published on the Presidential Office's website, all "volunteer combatants" and members of private military organizations - like regular soldiers - must swear "loyalty" and "loyalty" to Russia and also vow to "strictly follow the orders of commanders and superiors." “. The aim of the measure is "to lay the intellectual and moral foundations for the defense of the Russian Federation," it said
1:58 p.m. - Insider: First dead identified from plane wreckage
According to information from informed circles, Russian investigators have identified the first dead person from the wreckage of the plane in which mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigoshin is said to have traveled. Accordingly, there is "documentary evidence" that pilot Alexey Levshin is among the dead, said a person familiar with the process. A genetic comparison with his relatives is still pending.
1:33 p.m. – Arson device at the Russian news agency in Berlin – the accused is silent at the beginning of the process
After an attempted arson attack on a building of a Russian news agency in Berlin-Steglitz, the trial of a 55-year-old has begun. The charges against the Russian national include attempted murder and attempted serious arson. The defense lawyers said on Friday at the beginning of the trial before the Berlin district court that their client would initially remain silent. During the investigation, the accused is said to have denied the allegations and spoke of an intrigue against him.
In the spring of last year, the man is said to have built an unconventional explosive and incendiary device (IED) and installed it in the basement of an apartment building occupied by employees of the Russian news agency Ria Novosti. He knew that the house "was occupied by several people, including a four-year-old girl," according to the indictment by the Berlin Public Prosecutor's Office.
In addition to an attempted arson attack, the 55-year-old, who has lived in Germany for around 30 years and is a journalist and engineer, is accused of other crimes. In one case, the former entrepreneur is said to have unfairly obtained emergency corona aid of 14,000 euros. In addition, he is said to have tapped the electricity and gas lines in his rented apartment in Berlin-Mitte. For the second day of the trial on September 13, his lawyers announced a so-called opening statement - a statement on the prosecution from the defense attorney's point of view.
12:19 PM - Chief of Ukrainian emergency services fired after review
The head of Ukraine's State Emergency Service Serhiy Kruk has been fired, Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko said. He gave no reasons, but pointed out that the dismissal was the result of an internal review. Kruk's deputy will be in charge of emergency services on an interim basis. The government in Kiev wants to step up action against corruption as part of the EU membership it is striving for.
10:53 a.m. - After Ukrainian action in Crimea: Russia claims to have intercepted 42 drones
According to the Russian air defense, 42 Ukrainian drones were fended off over Crimea. "Nine drones were destroyed as a result of shelling over the territory of the Republic of Crimea," the Russian Defense Ministry wrote online early Friday morningTelegram. 33 other drones were “neutralized using electronic warfare,” it said. Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014.
The Russian Defense Ministry did not provide any information on possible damage or casualties as a result of the destruction of the drones. Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Rasvozhayev had previously reported that several flying objects had been shot down in the south-west of the peninsula, about ten kilometers from the home port of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Task forces found "no damage to the civilian infrastructure," wrote Raswoschajewat Telegram.
Since the start of the raid against Ukraine in February 2022, Crimea has been a regular target of aerial and naval drone strikes. They have increased in the last few weeks. In addition, according to its own information on Thursdaya commando operation with special forcescarried out on the occupied peninsula, and gunfire was exchanged.
10:25 am - Heineken completes withdrawal from Russia - €300 million loss
The Dutch brewery group Heineken has completed its announced withdrawal from Russia. The process "took longer than expected", but is now over, explained CEO Dolf van den Brink. Heineken had previously sold its business to the Russian Arnest Group after a long delay. The latest developments show how difficult it is for large companies to withdraw in an orderly, responsible manner from Russia, explained van den Brink.
Like many other Western companies, Heineken announced last year that it would withdraw from Russia because of the attack on Ukraine. Most recently, however, the Dutch group had to put up with allegations of breach of word. An investigative site reported that Heineken was still doing business in Russia.
In March, the group apologized for the “ambiguity” surrounding the planned withdrawal and stated that it wanted to take care of secure jobs for the Russian employees, but could not find a buyer. Now the sale to the Arnest Group, the largest Russian manufacturer of cosmetics, household goods and metal packaging, has received all the necessary permits.
With its withdrawal from Russia, Heineken posts a loss of 300 million euros.
10:03 am - Chechen leader Kadyrov publicly mourns Prigozhin
Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov has publicly mourned the alleged death of Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin. "His death is a great loss for the whole country," he wrote on his Telegram channel shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke of the tragedy. He expressed his condolences to the family. Kadyrov and Prigozhin were both involved with troops under their command in Russia's aggressive war in Ukraine. They were united in their criticism of the Russian military leadership for a while, but ended up falling out badly.
"We've been friends for a long time," Kadyrov claimed two days after Prigozhin was believed to have died in a plane crash. On telegramhe posted a photo, which shows him receiving an order of the Wagner mercenary troupe from Prigozhin's hands. He only touched on the conflict in passing. In recent months, Prigozhin has lost sight of the big picture. "I have asked him to put his personal ambitions aside in favor of matters of the greatest importance to the state," he wrote.
In fact, Kadyrov and Prigozhin were both seen as hardliners and called for even tougher action by Moscow in Ukraine. However, many observers described the alliance between the two as temporary, as their criticism of the military leadership was primarily about gaining advantages for their own troops. In fact, the alliance ended when Prigozhin criticized Kadyrov's Akhmat forces for never fighting in the front lines. The Chechen units then threatened the Wagner boss with violence, among other things.
8:43 a.m. - US intelligence services assume explosion as cause of Prigozhin jet crash
The US government believes it is likely that the head of Wagner's private army, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was killed in the sensational plane crash in Russia. According to the first US assessment, which is based on various factors, Prigozhin was probably killed in the plane crash, US Defense Department spokesman Pat Ryder said on Thursday.
The US has no information that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, Ryder said. Corresponding reports are not correct according to the US assessment. However, he could not provide any further information on the possible cause of the plane crash.
Misfortune, shooting down, sabotage - air disasters and their prominent victims
Die „New York Times" and other US media reported on Thursday, citing US intelligence circles, that an explosion on board the plane probably caused the crash. A final conclusion has not yet been drawn, but an explosion is currently the leading theory for the cause of the crash, the New York Times wrote.
According to British secret services, Prigozhin is "very likely" dead. There is still no definitive proof that Prigozhin was on board the crashed plane, especially since he always takes extraordinary security measures, the British Ministry of Defense emphasized on Friday. But Prigozhin's death would profoundly destabilize Wagner's private army, London said.
"His personal characteristics such as hyperactivity, exceptional boldness, focus on results and extreme brutality shaped Wagner and should not be equaled by any successor," the British ministry said. The leadership vacuum at Wagner would be exacerbated if reports were true that founder and field commander Dmitry Utkin and logistics chief Valery Chekalov are dead.
6:23 a.m. – Military expert Mölling: “It also depends on what the Ukrainians find in the second line of defense”
Military expert Christian Mölling from the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) sees progress in Ukraine's counteroffensive. "There are first breakthroughs on the southern front line," Mölling told the Funke Group newspapers. "Whether they can be widened also depends on what the Ukrainians find in the second line of defense," he added.
"One hypothesis says that the Russians no longer have enough manpower at this stage to strongly man the other lines of defense," the expert suspected. In recent months, the Ukrainians have destroyed a great deal of Russian military infrastructure and logistics. The ultimate goal, however, is measured by "territorial successes," he stressed.
Mölling rejected criticism from the USA that the Ukrainians were not concentrating enough on the southern front. “I assume that the Ukrainians know best how to fight this war. In the east they are quite successful. This is how they succeed in destroying Russian infantry on a large scale at the front near Bakhmut,” emphasized the military expert. “The Russians don't want to give up Bachmut. So they always have to send in new forces and lose a lot of soldiers in the process.”
Mölling assumes that the war will last a long time. "The most likely scenario is that both sides will eventually, out of exhaustion, enter a phase of conflict where they will continue fighting but not get any major operations going," he said.
5:20 am - Biden and Zelenskyy discuss training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets
US President Joe Biden and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy have spoken about the planned training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets for use in the war against Russia. Biden and Zelenskyy have discussed "starting training for Ukrainian fighter pilots" and "assuming expedited approval for other nations to hand over their F-16s to Ukraine after training is complete," the White House said.
Earlier, the US Department of Defense said the US will begin training Ukrainian F-16 fighter pilots in September. Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said at a press conference that the pilots would first receive English lessons at an air force base in San Antonio, Texas. Flight training will then begin in Arizona in October. It might take several months.
12:15 a.m. – Klingbeil sees “indication” for Putin’s dwindling power
SPD leader Lars Klingbeil sees the alleged assassination of the head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigoschin, as a sign of the dwindling power of Russian President Vladimir Putin. "If in the end everything is as we suspect, that is another indication that Putin no longer has everything under control, that Putin can no longer control everything in Russia - only with terror and with repression," said Klingbeil in Lüneburg, at an event of the editorial network Germany. “First of all, this is also a sign that there is a bit of optimism that this Putin system is slowly falling apart. I would wish for it," said Klingbeil.
00:04 - Biden sends Zelenskyy Independence Day greetings
US President Joe Biden has sent his greetings on the occasion of Independence Day in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he had spoken to Biden and thanked him for the US President's greetings and US support. "Together we will prove that it is worth fighting for freedom and independence," says Zelenskyj.
9:29 pm - US Military: No evidence of missile launch
According to the US military, there is currently no evidence that the Prigozhin machine was shot down by a missile. A spokesman for the Department of Defense gave no details to the press. The Reuters news agency previously learned from two insiders that a corresponding hit was considered likely. A third US official said there were a number of theories and no definitive conclusions.
Now the first Wagner soldiers are threatening to march on Moscow
What it looks like inside the Wagner group
Russia has recovered 10 bodies and flight recorders from the ill-fated plane carrying Wagner chief and his allies which crashed on Wednesday, officials said. An investigative committee is carrying out molecular genetic testing to identify the bodies from the crash site, officials said on Friday.Where did Yevgeny Prigozhin live? ›
Early life and education. Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin was born an only child on 1 June 1961 in Leningrad, Soviet Union (now Saint Petersburg, Russia). His mother, Violetta Kirovna Prigozhina, was a hospital nurse.How many bodies recovered from Russian plane crash? ›
"In the course of initial investigative work, the bodies of 10 victims were found at the site of the plane crash," Russia's Investigative Committee said on social media.Were the bodies of flight 261 found? ›
Most of the passengers and crew remain trapped in the wreckage of the airliner that rests some 640 feet deep in the Santa Barbara Channel. Authorities have said that four bodies were recovered shortly after the crash, although other scattered body parts have been found since then; no identifications have been released.