Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, the Russian mercenary chief who died in a airplane crash final week, has been buried in a personal ceremony in St. Petersburg, his press service stated on Tuesday, ending days of hypothesis over how he can be laid to relaxation.
The announcement on the Telegram messaging app got here as a shock. Hours earlier, the Kremlin stated it had no details about Mr. Prigozhin’s funeral besides that President Vladimir V. Putin wouldn’t attend.
Mr. Prigozhin’s funeral “occurred in a personal format,” his press service stated. “These wishing to say goodbye can go to the Porokhovskoye cemetery” in St. Petersburg.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Porokhovskoye cemetery was being closely guarded by Russian police, riot police, and nationwide guardsmen, who didn’t enable folks to enter, suggesting the lengths the state has gone to to maintain the general public mourning for Mr. Prigozhin at a minimal.
Particulars about Mr. Prigozhin’s funeral, together with the date and whether or not members of the general public can be allowed to attend, had been unclear for days. Rumors had swirled about ceremonies at different cemeteries, although Porokhovskoye had not been talked about, and police had cordoned off a few of them and arrange metallic detectors on the Serafimovsky Cemetery, the place Mr. Putin’s mother and father are buried.
The secrecy mirrored the sensitivities surrounding Mr. Prigozhin, a longtime ally of Mr. Putin who launched a failed mutiny against Moscow’s military leadership in June. He was killed together with 9 others, together with high leaders of his Wagner non-public army firm, within the crash of a personal jet northwest of Moscow final Wednesday.
Mr. Prigozhin had acquired the Hero of Russia designation, one of many Russian army’s high honors, which usually accords particular burials, together with an honor guard and a army band.
The confusion was according to the murky particulars in regards to the crash. Its trigger stays unclear, however U.S. and Western officers believe it was prompted by an explosion on board. Many Western officers have stated they assume it’s doubtless that Mr. Putin might have performed a job in having Mr. Prigozhin killed as retribution for the mercenary chief’s short-lived mutiny in June.
After the crash, Russian authorities launched the airplane’s flight manifest, exhibiting the names of the ten individuals who had been presupposed to be on board, and stated that each one aboard had been killed. That left room for days of hypothesis about whether or not Mr. Prigozhin was actually on the airplane.
The deaths weren’t formally confirmed until Sunday, when Russian investigators stated that genetic testing confirmed that the victims of the crash matched the names on the manifest.
Wagner’s logistics chief, Valery Chekalov, who was additionally on the airplane, was buried Tuesday morning in Northern Cemetery in St. Petersburg, in a ceremony that was not publicized prematurely. A number of hundred folks got here to pay their respects.
Some analysts speculated that the Russian authorities had been in search of to keep away from a public outpouring of help for Mr. Prigozhin and his high lieutenants.
“Evidently the authorities, as anticipated, need to keep away from a spontaneous rally in reminiscence of the highest management of Wagner and to take action, have imposed a fog across the burial place,” Farida Rustamova, an unbiased journalist, wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
Valeriya Safronova, Nanna Heitmann and Jesus Jiménez contributed reporting.