In the 40-second clip, the Russian mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin compared Russia’s trajectory in the war to a plane that will “fall apart in the air”.
The ominous comparison has now added fuel to the fire in the theory that the Wagner chief was killed by order of Russian president Vladimir Putin, after Prigozhin has been confirmed as one of the passengers on a private jet that crashed northwest of Moscow with no survivors on Wednesday.
The incident occurred just two months after he shocked the global stage by leading a mutiny against Putin, before abruptly calling off the half-baked uprising at the eleventh hour.
In the video taken from an interview originally published on 29 April with Russian military blogger Semyon Pegov, Prigozhin said he would rather be killed than lie to his country, and talked about a plane disintegrating in the sky.
“Today we have reached the boiling point,” he said in the clip published on Grey Zone, Wagner’s Telegram channel.
“Why am I speaking so honestly? Because I don’t have the right, before those people who will live on in this country. They are now being lied to. Better kill me.”
He added: “But I will not lie, I must say honestly that Russia is on the brink of disaster. And if these cogs are not adjusted today, then the plane will fall apart in the air.”
Hundreds of responses had been posted on Grey Zone within a few hours.
“But he knew,” a Telegram user whose name translates to “outpost” wrote in the first response.
Some posts speculated Prigozhin was still alive, with one claiming he would “soon jump out of a snuffbox and make the devils c*** themselves.”
The Kremlin has said Western suggestions he had been killed on its orders were an “absolute lie”.
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