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DNA Confirms Wagner Group Leader Among Crash Victims, Russian Officials Say

A man lays flowers at the makeshift memorial in honor of Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin, a shadowy figure who managed Wagner's operations and allegedly served in Russian military intelligence, in Moscow, on August 24, 2023. Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images
A man lays flowers at the makeshift memorial in honor of Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin, a shadowy figure who managed Wagner’s operations and allegedly served in Russian military intelligence, in Moscow, on August 24, 2023. Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images

Remains found after Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private plane crashed last week were confirmed by genetic testing to be those of the Wagner Group leader, Russian investigators said on Sunday.

Ten people died when the jet fell from the sky near the town of Kuzhenkino, north of Moscow, on August 23.

DNA tests showed that the remains recovered from the site matched all 10 people on the passenger list, Russia’s Investigative Committee said Sunday. The remains “conform to the manifest,” committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said.

“Molecular and genetic tests have been completed as part of the investigation of the plane crash in the Tver region. According to their finding, all ten victims have been identified. They fully match the list on the flight manifest,” the committee said in a statement to Interfax, the Russian newswire.

The crash may have been caused by an explosion on board the plane, perhaps by a well-placed bomb, U.S. officials told ABC News last week, describing their findings from an initial investigation.

Related Story: Putin Orders Wagner Fighters to Sign Oath of Allegiance

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