The apparent death of their leader in a plane crash has provoked unease, doubt and uncertainty among Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner mercenaries.

Russian media outlet Meduza spoke about the incident with several Wagner PMC (private military company) members.

Some of the Wagner mercenaries, who had just came back from combat Ukraine, are angry and want revenge, thinking the crash was payback for an attempted mutiny.

“Everyone understands that it was revenge, that the President [Vladimir Putin] does not forgive such things,” a Wagner fighter who recently returned from Ukraine said.

“We were waiting for this. The only question was when,” said an unnamed veteran of the Wagner group, currently fighting in Ukraine.


At the same time, observers noted a nuanced response among Wagner members. Unlike earlier instances, when a more immediate reaction would have been anticipated, the group’s dynamics have shifted since June.

“If it had happened on June 27, right after the march, then yes, there would have been a reaction. And now... someone are on vacation, someone are setting up their own life, some have already left for the Ministry of Defense to work,” said one Wagner fighter, who has received an offer to serve in Africa.

A former subordinate of Prigozhin said that following the attempted mutiny, at a meeting with the Wagner group’s commanders, Putin “shouted at the whole gang for three hours.”

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He added: “Maybe Zhenya [Prigozhin] felt Putin had shouted it out of his system. ‘He didn’t kill me right away, so maybe he won’t kill me at all.’ He considered himself untouchable. He decided he was immortal.”

Amid the uncertainty, doubt prevails among Wagner members regarding Prigozhin’s reported death. The Federal Air Transport Agency’s confirmation of his presence on the passenger list hasn’t convinced many, as they await solid evidence.


Voices in the Wagner community continue to question the authenticity of the news, even suggesting that Prigozhin might have staged his own demise.

Contacted by Important Stories media, Wagner members echoed skepticism about Prigozhin’s fate.

While some leaned towards the possibility of his survival, others shared information suggesting he was sighted in Mali. Some believe that Prigozhin’s reported death could be part of a larger plan.

“We all have a very big doubt that he died. Because Yevgeny Viktorovich [Prigozhin] is a fan of such antics, he had faked death before. It happened in one of the Arab countries that he died, then he came and said: ‘So, bitches, you didn’t wait?!’” said Maxim, a former Wagner member.

“I will never believe in Prigozhin’s death. Everything is planned in advance. This is just an excuse not to be responsible to relatives not to pay the compensation. He will continue to live under a different name,” one member of a chat for Wagner members’ relatives wrote.  

The Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), fighting alongside Ukraine, released a video message to Wagner mercenaries. RDK leader Denis Nikitin (Kapustin) urged them to choose between serving the Russian Defense Ministry or seeking revenge by joining Ukraine.


“I appeal to the fighters of the Wagner PMCs, for whom valor and honor still have at least some meaning. Apparently, your founding father and commanders were cynically executed yesterday. And you know perfectly well who is behind it. Therefore, now you are facing a serious choice: either get into the stall of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and serve as chain dogs for the executioners of your commanders, or take revenge,” Nikitin said.

He invited those who had not committed war crimes to join RDK to end the conflict and potentially advance towards Moscow.

“To take revenge, you need to go over to the side of Ukraine. If you have not committed war crimes, we invite you to join our ranks. Let’s finish the bloody ‘SVO’ [special military operation] meat grinder together, and then we will march to Moscow,” he added.

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