Dmitri Utkin was considered a co-founder of the Russian mercenary army Wagner. The former secret service officer was buried near Moscow – in contrast to his former boss Prigozhin not secretly.
According to Russian state media, the ex-commander of the Wagner mercenary army, Dmitri Utkin, was buried in a military cemetery near Moscow. The former secret service officer who was killed in a mysterious plane crash last week was bid farewell with military honours.
The largest Russian military cemetery in the outskirts of Mytishchi is under the Ministry of Defense and is used primarily for the burial of high-ranking military personnel. Utkin was considered a co-founder of the Russian mercenary army. The name Wagner is said to derive from his fondness for the German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883). Utkin was considered a right-wing extremist. Videos published online showed men in army uniforms and funeral wreaths, as well as the grave of the mercenary commander decorated with Wagner symbolism.
The Wagner commander died in a plane crash over Russia on August 23, along with the head of the mercenary company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and other leaders. Prigozhin was buried in St. Petersburg, but largely in secret and without military honours. In June he had mutinied against the Russian military and state leadership.
Kremlin rejects responsibility
The victims of the plane crash are among a long list of opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin who met strange deaths, according to Western politicians. The Kremlin denies having anything to do with the plane crash. However, comments by independent Russian media keep mentioning a targeted attack.
Telegram channels associated with the mercenary force published a previously unknown video with Prigozhin on Thursday. It shows him a few days before his death and was allegedly filmed in Africa. In it he told people who were interested in him and his affairs: “Everything is okay.”
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