24 Aug 2023 20:29

Putin offers condolences to families of plane crash victims in Tver region

MOSCOW. Aug 24 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his profound condolences to the families of those who died in a plane crash near Tver, which was presumably carrying Yevgeny Prigozhin, and promised to conduct a thorough investigation into the tragedy.

"Regarding the aircraft tragedy, first of all, I want to express my most sincere condolences to the families of all the victims. This is always a tragedy. Indeed, if they were there, and the initial information indicates that there were employees of the Wagner Group onboard, I wanted to note that these people made a significant contribution to our common cause of fighting the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine. We remember this, we know about it and we will not forget it," Putin said at a meeting with acting head of the Donetsk People's Republic Denis Pushilin.

Putin noted that he "had been acquainted with Prigozhin for a long time, since the early 1990s". "He was a man with a difficult fate, and he made serious mistakes in his life, and he achieved the required results both for himself and, when I asked him for this, for the common cause, as in the most recent months," he said.

Prigozhin "was a talented man, a talented businessman, and not only in our country; he worked and achieved results in Africa, he did business in oil, gas, precious stones and metals there," Putin said. "As far as I know, he had just returned from Africa yesterday and met with a number of officials here," Putin said.

"What is absolutely certain, and the head of the Investigative Committee reported this to me today, [is that] they have already launched a preliminary investigation into this incident, and it will be carried out in full and completed," he said.

"Let's see what the investigators say in the near future. Technical and genetic forensic tests are being conducted now, this will take some time," Putin added.