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Unseen video of Prigozhin appears online days after funeral

A previously unseen video of Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin emerged Thursday following the mercenary warlord’s funeral.

The undated video, posted to a Wagner-aligned Telegram channel, shows Prigozhin addressing the camera while riding in a vehicle and speaking about speculation of his death.

“To those who talk about my liquidation, private life and earnings or whatever else, strictly speaking, everything’s alright,” Prigozhin said in the video, according to translations from the independent outlet Moscow Times.

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Yevgeny Prigozhin

A still frame from a previously unseen video of Wagner Group mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin released after his funeral by a channel on Telegram.

“For anyone discussing whether I’m alive or not and how I’m doing […] it’s a weekend in the second half of August 2023. I’m in Africa,” Prigozhin continues.

Russian outlets have pointed out that the uniform Prigozhin is wearing in the video is identical to the tactical outfit worn in a video published on Aug. 21 — during the Wagner Group campaign in Africa between his abandoned coup and reported death.

Still, the strategically timed video release by Telegram channel Grey Zone is likely intended to fuel speculation that the mercenary leader is still alive.

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Yegeny Prigozhin grave St Petersburg

A woman lays flowers on the grave of Wagner Group’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, who died last week in a plane crash two months after launching his brief rebellion, at the Porokhovskoye cemetery in St. Petersburg, Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

The possibility of Prigozhin’s death being staged has been floated since his plane was destroyed with him and several members of the Wagner Group top brass aboard on Aug. 23.

With Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government as the only investigators of the incident, there has been little opportunity for the international community to examine evidence from the crash site.

The Russian government has claimed that DNA testing on remains from the scene of the disaster confirmed Prigozhin’s death on the aircraft.

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Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the government via a video conference at the Kremlin in Moscow. (ALEXANDER KAZAKOV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

Prigozhin’s death came just months after he led a stop-and-go insurrection against Putin’s regime earlier this year. Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, expressed anger at how his forces had been used and treated and ordered a march on Moscow.

The new video does not provide any concrete evidence against the official narrative that Prigozhin was killed in the plane explosion.

Russian officials have largely ignored widespread speculation that Putin was behind the fatal disaster, but the Kremlin has acknowledged that foul play could have played a role — saying Wednesday the crash may have been the result of “deliberate wrongdoing.”

Prigozhin memorial

A portrait of the owner of private military company Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin lays at an informal memorial next to the former PMC Wagner Centre in St. Petersburg, Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

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Investigators have still not determined an official cause, but “different versions” of what happened “are being considered,” according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

Peskov told reporters during his daily conference call that among the possible causes is, “Let’s put it this way, deliberate wrongdoing.”

Prigozhin was buried in St. Petersburg, his hometown, in a private ceremony. The event was shrouded in secrecy until Tuesday evening when the mercenary leader’s spokespeople revealed the location of his grave.

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