Yevgeny Prigozhin Dead in Plane Crash

( – Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, has been presumed dead after his private jet plummeted from the sky in an explosion of flames. Details are still sketchy, and independent sources have yet to confirm the death, but grief-stricken supporters have already set up a shrine of candles and flowers at the Wagner Center.

Prigozhin died exactly two months to the day from his attempt to stage a rebellion against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. BBC News reports that no one was shocked by the event, and many people were amazed the mutineer survived for so long after humiliating the Russian commander in chief so terribly.

A Wagner Group Telegram channel stated that “traitors of Russia” had killed their leader. Investigators say they’re working to get to the bottom of the incident, and they haven’t ruled out “external actions” as the cause of the crash. BBC notes the Russian Federal Aviation Agency was unusually quick to offer confirmation that Prigozhin was among the confirmed passengers, which apparently has raised some suspicions about the validity of the report.

US President Joe Biden told reporters that he wasn’t surprised to hear the news. He implied that Putin was behind much of what occurred in Russia and stopped just short of accusing the crash of being a planned hit. Only last month, he had noted that Prigozhin should be careful about any food he ate, implying that all official eyes were watching and waiting for the man’s untimely death.

The fact of the matter is Putin’s political opponents often meet tragic ends. The Atlantic reports that numerous people who have made enemies with the Russian leader have been gunned down, poisoned, found at the bottom of cliffs, or died of other questionable means. Political analyst Tatiana Stanovaya told the BBC that the message behind the recent crash is what’s most important: People who cross Putin, no matter how powerful they might be, will eventually pay for their disloyalty in blood.

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