Putin: I know Prigozhin since the 90s he was talented, but he made mistakes and my heartfelt condolences to his family

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his first statement after the plane crash carrying Wagner Group commander Yevgeny Prigozhin, expressed his condolences to the families of the dead.

Putin said, in statements, that he had known Prigozhin since the 90s, and he was a brilliant businessman, although he made mistakes.

He added, “Prigozhin was a man facing a difficult fate, but he was talented”.

Regarding the details of what happened, he said that preliminary data indicated that the plane that crashed in the Tver region had employees from Wagner.

He revealed that Prigozhin returned from Africa yesterday (Tuesday), and held important meetings with officials in Russia, before his plane crashed.

He pointed out that a committee has launched preliminary investigations into the crash to find out the reasons behind what happened.

However, he indicated that the investigations will take time until the final results are reached.

At the same time, Putin said, the Wagner Group, which was led by Prigozhin, “made a huge contribution to the fight against Nazism in Ukraine, and we will never forget it”.

In addition, activists circulated a video recording of the Russian president, during his attendance at the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Kursk, in which the Soviet army defeated the Nazis in 1943 during World War II, coinciding with the crash of the plane on which the leader of the Wagner Group was on board.

Putin said during the ceremony that the entire burden of fighting today, as it was in the years of the Great Patriotic War, falls primarily on our soldiers, on those who are on the front lines.

He added, “All of our fighters are fighting bravely and decisively… Devotion to the homeland and loyalty to the military oath unites all participants in the special military operation”.

Earlier, the Kremlin announced that the Russian President has issued a decree obligating all companies and groups with military activity operating in Russia must swear allegiance to the Russian state and the Russian army.

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