Why Did Prigozhin Fly to China Shortly before His Death and Later Pass Through Kazakhstan?

cover Photo: JetPhotos

After Yevgeny Prigozhin's death, information surfaced that shortly before the incident, a plane, which presumably belonged to Prigozhin, turned off its transponder over the Tyumen region near the border with the Republic of Kazakhstan.

At the time, Orda.kz had sent a request to the Civil Aviation Committee, asking to clarify whether the BAe 125-800B aircraft with the registration number RA-02878 was in the airspace of Kazakhstan. Three weeks later, Orda received a response. The aircraft did indeed fly to Kazakhstan. However, not in August, but four months earlier, and the flight was not from Russia, but from China.

"Over the past period of 2023, an aircraft with registration number RA-02748 flew through the airspace of the Republic of Kazakhstan on April 11, 2023 with a technical landing for the purpose of refueling the aircraft in the direction of Beijing (International Airport) – Astana (Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport) – Moscow (Sheremetyevo). The duration of the technical landing for the purpose of refueling the aircraft was 45 minutes,”  KGA’s (CAC) message reads.

It can therefore be assumed that if this plane belonged to and was used by Yevgeny Prigozhin, then Prigozhin could have very well visited Beijing in April 2023.

Although it might have been a private visit, April has several coincidences related to China and Ukraine. The Ukrainian city of Bakhmut was also being assaulted by Prigozhin’s mercenaries at the time.

On April 7, French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited China. A focal point in their communication with Xi Jinping was Ukraine, namely a plan for peace. The PRC had presented its vision for peace back in February. A week before the visit of European leaders, the Chinese leader flew to Moscow on a personal visit and met with Putin.

On April 11, as we now know, Prigozhin's plane was in China. The purpose of it being there is unknown.

On April 14, a meeting was held by the Foreign Ministers of Germany and China Annalena Berbock and Qin Gang. The war in Ukraine was again an important topic for discussion.

On April 15, Prigozhin published a blog post, saying the ideal option would be recognizing the goals of the war in Ukraine as fulfilled and bringing the war to an end. At the same time, in April, he repeatedly claimed that there was a lack of ammunition, the blame for which he laid directly on the Russian Ministry of Defense’s superiors.

On April 20, the Financial Times published a Pentagon document that surfaced from a data leak, revealing Wagner’s attempts to contact the Chinese authorities for ammunition supplies, which resulted in rejection. The document was dated at the beginning of January 2023.

On April 26, Volodymyr Zelenskyy phoned Xi Jinping. During their conversation, a peace settlement plan along with other things was discussed.

There is absolute no way to assert that this events are tied to one another. Yet in one way or another they are all connected to the either Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, China, or both.

Original Author: Igor Ulitin

DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified, the content is the same. Please refer to the original piece in Russian for accuracy. 

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