Fox News Flash top headlines for August 23
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Mercenaries with the Wagner Group are mourning the alleged death of their once-leader.
Yevgeny Prigozhin was reportedly killed Wednesday in a plane crash inside Russian airspace that also claimed nine other people’s lives. No concrete evidence of his death has yet been provided.
“I won’t be afraid to say that Yevgeny Prigozhin is a Russian hero,” a Wagner supporter told the news website Fontanka. “He’s a man of his word. He’s done a lot not only in the course of the special military operation, [but] in defending Russia’s interests in the world, the Syrian campaign [and] in Africa.”
RUSSIAN WAGNER GROUP WARLORD PRIGOZHIN AMONG DEAD ON PLANE THAT CRASHED, KILLING 10, OFFICIALS SAY
A member of private mercenary group Wagner pays tribute to Yevgeny Prigozhin at the makeshift memorial in front of the PMC Wagner office in Novosibirsk, on Aug. 24, 2023. (Vladimir Nikolayev/AFP via Getty Images)
Wagner soldiers have mourned the warlord’s apparent death, setting up memorials and publicly praying for him.
“Guys, we just have no words right now,” one anonymous man claiming to be from Wagner told AFP journalists, according to The Moscow Times.
“Let’s support Yevgeny Viktorovich [Prigozhin] and all our commanders. We need your support now,” he added.
WHO IS YEVGENY PRIGOZHIN, PUTIN’S WARLORD AND WAGNER GROUP FOUNDER
Portraits of Yevgeny Prigozhin, left, and Dmitry Utkin, a shadowy figure who managed Wagner’s operations and allegedly served in Russian military intelligence, are seen at the makeshift memorial in front of the PMC Wagner office in Novosibirsk, on Aug. 24, 2023. (Vladimir Nikolayev/AFP via Getty Images)
Prigozhin, self-proclaimed founder and leader of the mercenary Wagner Group, was reportedly aboard a plane that crashed in Russia on Wednesday just two months after he marched his troops towards Moscow – U.S. authorities are awaiting confirmation if he was on board the plane.
The business jet was traveling from the Russian capital to St. Petersburg when it went down in the Tver region, according to the TASS news agency.
The Pentagon told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that officials had “seen the reports, but have nothing to offer at this time” and would “continue to monitor the situation.”
People hang portraits of Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin at the makeshift memorial in front of the PMC Wagner office in Novosibirsk, on Aug. 24, 2023. (Vladimir Nikolayev/AFP via Getty Images)
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The reported crash comes just days after Prigozhin posted a new video on Telegram proclaiming that the Wagner Group Russian mercenary force would make Russia “greater” and Africa “freer.”
Fox News Digital’s Peter Aitken, Greg Norman and Louis Casiano contributed to this report.
Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at [email protected]