Fact Check: Video Does NOT Depict Wagner Group Leader's Explosion Or Killing In Minsk


  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Depict Wagner Group Leader's Explosion Or Killing In Minsk Crimea Blast

Was the head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, murdered after the bombing of his house in the Belarusian capital? No, that's not true: This video captures the aftermath of a drone strike on a fuel depot in Crimea in April 2023, where a fire broke out. The leader of the mercenary group is alive, at last report.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok on June 25, 2023, by the recently created account @user1296617403921.

The caption on the video (translated from Russian to English by Lead Stories staff) is:

Elimination of Prigozhin
Prigozhin's house blown up in Minsk

The users' clarification below the post says:

Prigozhin has been liquidated

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Prigozhin liquidaiton.jpg

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Jun 28 11:09:07 2023 UTC)

According to a reverse image search, the video shows a huge fire that was caused by a strike on a fuel depot in the city of Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea on April 29, 2023. The Kremlin-appointed local Gov. Mikhail Razvozhaev blamed "enemy drones" for the fire. Ukrainian officials did not directly claim responsibility.

Prigozhin landed in Minsk, Belarus, on June 27, 2023, after the mutiny he orchestrated in Russia. This was reported by Belarusian state media @belta quoting Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. He confirmed (translated from Russian into English by Lead Stories staff):

Yes, indeed, he's in Belarus today. As I promised, if you want to stay with us for a while and so on, we will help you. At their (the Wagnerians' - BELTA's note) expense, of course.

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