Yevgeny Prigozhin dedicated his last hours of life to strengthening the presence of the Wagner Group in Africa. The leaders of the continent who had enlisted the services of the shadowy mercenary company They were not sure if the oligarch was going to be able to keep the business going after having openly challenged the leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin. That looked like a red line. As it would be demonstrated shortly after, the doubts were justified. The private jet in which Prigozhin was traveling in the company of six Wagner members and three other crew members crashed on the outskirts of Moscow. There were no survivors, according to the Russian Emergencies Ministry.
A few days earlier, the oligarch’s private plane had landed without incident in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. There the president was waiting for him. Faustin-Archange Touadéra and his intelligence chief, Wanzet Linguissarato talk about business, according to The Wall Street Journal. Prigozhin guaranteed his interlocutors at all times that the armed rebellion that he had staged against the Russian military leadership would not mean no impediment to maintain the flow of investments and mercenaries in Central Africa. He was wrong.
At that very moment, a delegation of officials from the Russian Ministry of Defense led by Sergei Shoigu, whom Prigozhin insulted for months during the invasion of Ukraine and whom he tried to remove from office in the so-called “march of justice” to Moscow, transmitted the contrary message to the customers of the Wagner Group in Libya. The Kremlin was taking formal control of the military company’s business network. According to him wsjwho headed the Russian mission was precisely Yunus Bek YevkurovShoigu’s right hand.
Prigozhin, for his part, took advantage of his stay in Bangui to receive a delegation of five commanders of the Sudan Rapid Support Forcesone of the factions at war in that country, whose leader, the bloodthirsty paramilitary Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo —better known as Hemedti—, Prigozhin has assisted in his struggle for power against the regular Sudanese Army of Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
Wagner’s ringleader headed for Mali, where the mercenary company has managed to settle its main base of operations in the Sahel with the connivance of the military coup junta headed by Assimi Goita. In Bamako, the capital, Prigozhin recorded a video. The last video of him. In the images, broadcast through his media terminals, the oligarch harangued his fighters and said he was willing to “make Russia bigger on all continents”. But she didn’t have much more time. A few hours later he made a layover at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow before heading to his native St. Petersburg. He never came back.
Two fake buyers
Alexandra Yulina and Sergei Klokotov, two names not on the list of those killed in the incident, boarded the Embraer Legacy 600 business jet Wednesday morning a few hours before the aircraft crashed in the middle of the Tver region, outside Moscow. . The plane was for sale. But also under repair at the Sheremetyevo airport due to the failure of the turbo-refrigerator, according to the Russian news portal M.K..
The middle-aged man and woman had introduced themselves as two potential buyers of a vehicle that is difficult to acquire as a result of the US sanctions that have weighed on the aircraft since 2019.