Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that the plane crash that resulted in the death of Wagner captain Yevgeny Prigozhin last August wasn’t the result of a missile attack, but rather was the result of hand grenades exploding inside the plane.

Putin delivered a speech before the Valdai International Forum in the Russian city of Sochi, where he confirmed that fragments of hand grenades were found in the remains of those killed in this incident.

He pointed out that the plane wasn’t affected by any external influence, and this fact was verified by the Russian Investigative Committee.

The Russian president added that drugs were found in Prigozhin’s home and in the offices of the Wagner company, and explained that no specialized examination was conducted for alcohol or drugs in the blood of the deceased person.

Regarding groups like Wagner in Russia, Putin stressed that there is no consensus yet regarding the necessity of their existence, but noted that a number of fighters who worked with Wagner have signed contracts with the Russian Armed Forces, and are able to participate in military operations if they wish.

Yevgeny Prigozhin died in a plane crash last August 23, two months.

Wagner has gained increasing international notoriety in recent years due to its activity in Africa and Ukraine, where Russia launched a special military operation in February 2022.

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