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The Kremlin accused the Wall Road Journal of publishing “pulp fiction” on Friday after it reported that the dying of mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin in a aircraft crash had been orchestrated by Russian safety official Nikolai Patrushev.

The WSJ reported that Prigozhin’s personal jet was downed by a small bomb positioned underneath a wing. Its report cited unnamed Western intelligence officers and a former Russian intelligence officer.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated he had seen the story however wouldn’t touch upon it, earlier than including: “These days, sadly, the Wall Road Journal has been very fond of manufacturing pulp fiction.”

Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group that fought for Russia in Ukraine, waged a long-running feud with the defence institution that culminated in an outright mutiny in late June. It ended shortly however was extensively seen as a critical problem to President Vladimir Putin’s nearly quarter-century-old grip on energy.

Prigozhin died in a aircraft crash precisely two months later. The Kremlin has beforehand rejected as an “absolute lie” the suggestion that he was killed on Putin’s orders. Putin recommended in October that the crash was attributable to hand grenades detonating contained in the plane.

9 different folks have been additionally killed: two different prime Wagner figures, Prigozhin’s 4 bodyguards and a crew of three. Patrushev, 72, is a former head of the FSB safety service who now serves as secretary of Russia’s Safety Council and is taken into account one of the influential hardliners amongst Putin’s shut advisers. The 2 have recognized one another since working collectively within the Soviet KGB in Leningrad – now St Petersburg – way back to the Nineteen Seventies.

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