Vladimir Putin “killed Prigozhin, at least this is information that we all have, we have no other information,” Volodymyr Zelensky said at a conference in Kiev on Friday (September 8). The Ukrainian president thus made severe accusations against his counterpart concerning the death of the former leader of the Russian paramilitary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who died in a plane crash in August.

Wagner’s men were on the front lines of fighting in eastern Ukraine, including the battle for the town of Bakhmut, captured by the Russians in May after nearly a year of fierce fighting. Having become an enemy of the Russian president after a mutiny, Yevgeny Prigozhin, along with his lieutenants, was killed in the crash of his private jet between Moscow and Saint Petersburg at the end of August.

A week after his death, the Kremlin assured that investigators were examining all avenues, including that of “premeditated crime” to explain this incident. A few days earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had called insinuations, particularly from the West, that the Kremlin may have ordered the elimination of Prigozhin a “complete lie” and “speculation.”

Vladimir Putin considered Yevgeny Prigozhin a traitor since Wagner’s armed rebellion on June 23 and 24. The day after his death, he spoke of a “talented” man who had nevertheless made “serious mistakes in his life”.

Furthermore, Volodymyr Zelensky recognized that Russia, with its air superiority, was stopping the Ukrainian counter-offensive. “If we’re not in the sky and Russia is, they’re stopping us from the sky. They are stopping our counter-offensive,” the Ukrainian president declared at a conference in Kiev, further denouncing “processes that are becoming more complicated and slower, when it comes to sanctions or arms supplies.” Western.

He also claimed that Russia was banking on the upcoming US presidential election, hoping it would weaken Washington’s support for kyiv. “[The Russians] are counting on the American elections… although we have mutual, bipartisan support,” affirmed Volodymyr Zelensky, admitting however the existence of “voices within the Republican Party who say that support for Ukraine must be reduced.”