Prigozhin namesake dies in war in Ukraine

A Russian paratrooper who once changed his name to Yevgeny Prigozhin died fighting near the Ukrainian village of Robotyne in late January, independent media outlet Agentstvo said Thursday, citing a relative of the dead man.

The real Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group who died in a plane crash two months after his unsuccessful rebellion last year, had several “body doubles” whom he may have used to disguise his movements, a Pentagon official previously told The New York Times.

Prigozhin’s double, whose real name was Ruslan Yunusov, received documents in Prigozhin’s name in May 2018, Fontanka news outlet wrote. Just a week after the name change, Prigozhin’s namesake was arrested for robbery and sentenced to eight years in prison two years later. Yunusov did not give a reason for the sudden name change, only saying that he had done it because of his “line of work” as a security guard.

Yunusov’s relatives told Agentstvo that he had gone to war from prison as a “volunteer”.

In August last year, while still serving his sentence, he tried to change his name back, BBC Russian Service wrote, but the court turned down his request.

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