‘If I were Prigozhin, I wouldn’t fire my food taster’
Once Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s longtime ally, Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin is reported to have died in a plane crash in the Tver region on Wednesday evening. He was apparently on the passenger list of the small jet that crashed while flying between Moscow and St Petersburg.
While the cause of the incident remains unclear, Prigozhin’s uprising in June and longstanding feud with the Russian military would possibly offer many ample reason for revenge. He was reportedly accompanied by senior Wagner commander Dmitry Utkin in the plane.
Following the fatal crash, media channels linked to the paramilitary group blamed a Russian air defence missile for the incident. US President Joe Biden told reporters he was “not surprised” at the news, adding “there’s not much that happens in Russia that Putin is not behind.”
“Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold”
The crash came a couple of months after troops loyal to Prigozhin marched hundreds of kilometres toward Moscow, aiming to force the removal of the country’s military leadership. But to everyone’s surprise, the chief suddenly called off the mutiny and agreed to go into exile.
Last month in Helsinki, the US president jokingly warned that Prigozhin should watch his step following his failed armed rebellion. “If I were he … I’d keep my eye on my menu.” The post-mutiny period surprised many over the Wagner leader managing to dodge severe punishment.
Last month, highlighting an apparent “complicated dance between Prigozhin and Putin,” CIA director Bill Burns called the Russian leader a person “who generally thinks revenge is a dish best served cold.” “If I were Prigozhin, I wouldn’t fire my food taster,” he added.