Wagner boss’ body identified from plane wreckage due to ‘missing finger’

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    The body of Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin has been identified after his private jet crashed yesterday (Wednesday, August 23).

    The deceased military man, 62, was IDed in a Russian morgue by a commander of the mercenary group he led, according to the reputable VChK-OGPU Telegram channel.

    Sources say Prigozhin's corpse was identified thanks to a partially-missing finger on his left hand, an injury he suffered while he served time in a gulag.

    READ MORE: Wagner boss Prigozhin's plane crash theories – wine bomb, spy hit job or still alive

    "Faces cordoned off everything, even medical staff were not allowed in," said the man who identified him.

    Another body belonging to Dmitry Utkin, Prigozhin's right-hand man, was also identified and the morgue in the Tver region was cordoned off by local police.

    Prigozhin died after his private jet went plummeting to the ground in a ball of fire, killing all 10 people on board.

    Footage of the crash shows the aircraft, a white Embraer Legacy 600 business jet, suddenly falling from a height of 28,000ft and sending smoke billowing into the sky before smashing into the ground below.

    Both Prigozhin and Utkin had been listed as passengers onboard.

    Rumours have since swirled over what may have caused the fatal crash, with many suspecting revenge after the Wagner boss unsuccessfully attempted to lead a coup to Moscow two months ago.

    One source suggested a bomb was had been planted on the plane with a crate of "expensive wine" having been loaded onto the aircraft moments before takeoff – possibly concealing an explosive.

    Wagner social media accounts have also claimed the plane was shot down by Russian air defences.

    UK defence sources backed up the claims and told the BBC the plane was "most likely" taken out by Putin's FSB secret service, but didn't specify the method used.

    With his death confirmed, many fear the Wagner Group, made up mostly of former prison inmates, could seek to avenge their leader.

    "Many discussions of what Wagner will do in this situation," members said.

    "We'll say one thing – we're starting off. Expect us."

    It comes after the group hinted they may launch a new campaign against Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

    Taking to Telegram in the the hours following the crash, Wagner officials wrote: "There are rumours about the death of the head of Wagner PMC Yevgeny Prigozhin.

    "We directly say that we suspect the Kremlin officials led by Putin of an attempt to kill him.

    "If the information about Prigozhin's death is confirmed, we will organise a second 'March of Justice' on Moscow! He'd better be alive, it's in your own interests…."

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