Putin may have been behind Wagner chief Prigozhin’s plane crash, Biden says

US President Joe Biden suggested that Russia’s Vladimir Putin could have been behind the plane crash that reportedly killed Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin on Wednesday.

“There’s not much that happens in Russia that Putin’s not behind. But I don’t know enough to know the answer,” Biden told reporters.

Biden was briefed on the news shortly after media outlets said Prigozhin was on the flight, which was en route to Saint Petersburg from Moscow.

The mercenary chief, who was at one point a close Putin confidante, had appeared in a video earlier in the week from Africa. After a failed mutiny against the Russian army in June, Prigozhin fled the country.

US officials said they would not be surprised if reports of Prigozhin’s death were accurate.

Wagner-affiliated media claimed that the Russian Defense Ministry shot down the private jet.

“We have seen the reports. If confirmed, no one should be surprised,” a White House National Security Council spokeswoman said.

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