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Prigozhin, Wagner Chief, Believed to Be on Aircraft in Lethal Russia Crash

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Col. Gen. Viktor Afzalov, chief of the Air Power’s normal employees, was named the appearing commander, it reported.

Even after the mutiny, Mr. Prigozhin, 62, appeared to maneuver about freely in latest weeks, and even met with Mr. Putin on the Kremlin on June 29. On Monday, Mr. Prigozhin launched a short video message on-line, hinting that he was in Africa, though the video recording’s timing and site have been unclear. Wearing fatigues and holding an assault rifle, he mentioned that Wagner was “making Russia even larger, on all continents, and Africa much more free.”

Regardless of the uncertainty across the airplane crash and Mr. Prigozhin’s destiny, U.S. intelligence businesses mentioned they’d been shocked that Mr. Putin had not but taken motion in opposition to the Wagner chief after his mutiny.

In July, William J. Burns, the C.I.A. director, mentioned {that a} “sophisticated dance” with Mr. Putin had developed. Mr. Prigozhin traveled between Russia and Belarus, the place President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko had provided Mr. Prigozhin and his fighters refuge, and different places. However Mr. Burns predicted that Mr. Putin would transfer in opposition to Mr. Prigozhin.

“Putin is somebody who usually thinks that revenge is a dish greatest served chilly,” Mr. Burns mentioned on the Aspen Safety Discussion board in Colorado final month. “So he’s going to attempt to settle the state of affairs to the extent he can. However, once more, in my expertise, Putin is the last word apostle of payback. So I might be shocked if Prigozhin escapes additional retribution for this.”

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