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'Farewell ceremony' for Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin as he is buried privately in St Petersburg after plane crash
29 August 2023, 20:17 | Updated: 29 August 2023, 20:27
A "farewell ceremony" has been held for Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin after he died in a plane crash in Russia.
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The funeral was held privately at a cemetery on the outskirts of his hometown in St Petersburg.
"The farewell to Yevgeny Viktorovich took place in a closed format. Those who wish to say goodbye may visit Porokhovskoye cemetery," Prigozhin's press service said in a short post on Telegram on Tuesday, accompanied by a photo of the Russian mercenary.
Secrecy had surrounded the funeral arrangements for Prigozhin, who was killed in a plane crash on August 23.
The incident marked two months to the day since the Wagner leader staged a mutiny in the biggest challenge to President Vladimir Putin's rule since he rose to power in 1999.
The Kremlin has rejected suggestions that Putin ordered his death in revenge for the revolt, claiming it to be an "absolute lie".
Putin - who initially stayed silent over Prigozhin's mysterious plane crash - did not attend the funeral.
Genetic tests confirmed Prigozhin died in last Wednesday's crash, Russia's investigative committee announced on Sunday.
Two other top Wagner figures, four Prigozhin bodyguards and three crew members were also killed when his Embraer Legacy 600 private jet crashed north of Moscow.
Intelligence services are believed to be working on the basis that a bomb was planted on the plane - with experts suggesting it may have been hidden in a wine crate.
Earlier on Tuesday, Valery Chekalov, the head of Wagner logistics, was buried at another St Petersburg cemetery.