WSJ Alleges Putin's Right-Hand Man Assassinated Prigozhin

    WSJ Alleges Putin's Right-Hand Man Assassinated Prigozhin
    Image copyright: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images News [via Getty Images]

    The Facts

    • Nikolai Patrushev, a decades-long ally of Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin, was allegedly responsible for the death of Yevgeny Prigozhin — the former boss of the private military group Wagner, who died in a fiery plane crash earlier in the year — according to a report published in the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

    • Patrushev, 72, served in Russia's KGB intelligence agency alongside Putin. When Putin became Russia's leader, Patrushev was appointed to head the KGB's successor agency, the FSB. He's now the secretary of Russia's Security Council and was described as "Putin's oldest ally and confidant" by the Journal.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    A number of intelligence sources, including those inside Russia, confirmed that Nikolai Petrushev was responsible for the assassination of Yevgeny Prigozhin. The Putin ally has also previously been linked to a number of high-profile assassinations, such as that of former FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko, making his role in this case less surprising.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    This type of poor, conspiratorial journalism is hardly worth commenting on. Russia had absolutely no involvement in this plane crash. Western media continue to fabricate stories with the aim of trying to damage Russia's reputation.

    Metaculus Prediction

    Public figures in this story

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