Wagner Group commander buried in military cemetery near Moscow

Dmitry Utkin, the military commander of the Wagner group who was killed in a plane crash alongside Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin on 23 August, has been laid to rest at the Federal Military Memorial Cemetery in Mytishchi near Moscow, TASS reported on Thursday.

Dmitry Utkin’s family insisted on a private burial, according to news outlet Fontanka, which also reported that those attending the burial included Utkin’s mother, his wife, and two children.

Soon after Utkin’s family had left, military servicemen and journalists were allowed into the cemetery.

Dmitry Utkin, commonly known as Wagner, was known to be Yevgeny Prigozhin’s right hand man. A former special forces operative, he took part in both Chechen wars in the 1990s and 2000s before beginning a career as a mercenary in 2012 when he led combat in Syria for Moran Security Group.

In 2017, Utkin took charge of Concord Management & Consulting, Prigozhin’s business empire that included his catering companies and the infamous “troll factory”, which employed people to post pro-government comments on social media, though he was replaced by Prigozhin the following year.

Yevgeny Prigozhin’s press service announced that the Wagner Group chief had been buried at the Porokhovsky cemetery in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. The burial was held in secret amid high security. Wagner’s security chief Valery Chekalov was laid to rest at another St. Petersburg cemetery on the same day.

Prigozhin, Chekalov, Utkin, four Wagner fighters and three crew members were killed last Wednesday when Prigozhin’s private jet crashed in Russia’s Tver region while on its way from Moscow to St. Petersburg.

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