Russia’s Prigozhin was privately buried in St Petersburg. According to information provided by his press agency on Tuesday, the burial of Russian mercenary head Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was killed in a plane accident the previous week, took place in a private ceremony at a cemetery located on the outskirts of his birthplace of St. Petersburg.
“A private ceremony was held to bid farewell to Yevgeny Viktorovich. Those who would like to pay their final farewells can travel to the Porokhovskoye cemetery,” it added in a brief post on Telegram, accompanied by a picture of Prigozhin.
Prigozhin was killed in a plane crash on August 23, exactly two months after launching a mutiny in the most significant challenge to President Vladimir Putin’s leadership since he ascended to power in 1999. The burial arrangements for Prigozhin had been shrouded in secrecy up until the time of his death.
The notion that Putin ordered his killing as retaliation for the uprising has been deemed an “absolute lie” by the Kremlin, which has disputed the claim. Earlier on Tuesday, it was reported that the President of the United States will not be present at the funeral.
In stark contrast to Prigozhin’s aggressive and self-publicizing attitude, the ceremony was held privately, if reports are to be believed. MSK1.RU, a news site based in Russia, cited members of the personnel at the cemetery as indicating that this was the family’s wish.
For the Kremlin, this meant that the event could not be turned into a large-scale public show of support for Prigozhin, a ruthless figure who some people in Russia nevertheless admired for throwing his mercenary force into the fiercest battles of the war in Ukraine and for speaking openly about the shortcomings of the Russian military and its leadership.
The crash of his Embraer Legacy 600 private plane north of Moscow also claimed the lives of two other high Wagner leaders, four bodyguards for Prigozhin, and three crew members.
On Tuesday, the funeral for Valery Chekalov, the chief of Wagner logistics, occurred at a different cemetery in St. Petersburg.
At the Severnoye cemetery, the family of Chekalov was joined by scores of other people, some of whom Reuters identified as Wagner mercenaries and employees from Prigozhin’s economic empire.