Putin sends condolences to mercenary chief Prigozhin's family

In a further confirmation that Wagner mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin was in fact among those killed when a private jet crashed in Russia yesterday, president Vladimir Putin–the obvious suspect in such a death given Prigozhin's aborted coup and relentless criticism of Russian military brass–sent ostentatious condolences to the man's family.

"He made serious mistakes in life," Putin said, adding that he had known him "for a very long time" and that he was "a talented man, a talented businessman."

He was a man of difficult fate, and he made serious mistakes in life, and he achieved the results needed both for himself and when I asked him about it – for a common cause, as in these last months," the Russian president said. The crash of Prigozhin's plane happened two months after Prigozhin and Wagner staged their insurrection, the biggest challenge to Putin's rule in over two decades. Just days after the mutiny, a furious Putin made it clear that he viewed the actions of Wagner as a form of treason.

As that plane sank from the sky, Prighozin must have known that he had made countless mistakes that led to that outcome. And everyone else on board with him must surely known that they had made just one.