28 August 2023, Mumbai: Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has alleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin may have been behind the death of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. In an op-ed, Johnson expressed his belief that Prigozhin’s recent plane crash was a deliberate act orchestrated by Putin. This has led Johnson to assert that peace negotiations with Putin concerning Ukraine are not possible, according to CNN.
Mysterious Plane Crash Raises Questions
The plane crash that claimed the life of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin remains shrouded in mystery. While the exact cause of the crash is uncertain, US and Western intelligence officials have suggested that it was a deliberate act. The plane, an Embraer Legacy 600 executive jet, crashed in a field northwest of Moscow. Johnson speculated on Prigozhin’s last moments, implying that he may have known who was responsible for his demise, CNN reported.
Putin’s Role in Alleged Assassinations
Boris Johnson further implicated Putin in his op-ed, linking him to past high-profile poisonings. Johnson stated that the individual responsible for Prigozhin’s death is the same person behind the poisonings of Alexander Litvinenko and Sergei Skripal. He insinuated that Prigozhin’s last thoughts may have been directed toward Putin as the explosion occurred, leading to his fatal plunge, according to CNN.
Death’s Impact on Wagner Group and Putin’s Response
Experts have raised questions about the Wagner group’s future without Prigozhin. The Russian Investigative Committee confirmed Prigozhin’s death in a plane crash, occurring exactly two months after he instigated a brief uprising in Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing Prigozhin’s death, referred to him as a “talented businessman” who made “some mistakes.” Putin’s response has ignited discussions about the implications of Prigozhin’s passing and his role within the Wagner group, as reported by Al Jazeera.
Johnson’s Opinions and Putin’s Image
Boris Johnson criticized Prigozhin’s belief in receiving a pardon from Putin despite opposing the government. He referred to this belief as the “height of conceit.” Johnson also condemned Putin’s alleged involvement in orchestrating violent acts against his enemies and labeled him a “gangster.” He likened Putin’s televised tribute to Prigozhin to scenes from “The Godfather,” highlighting his perception of Putin’s leadership, as noted by CNN.