Leaders of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin, are rumoured to have died in a plane crash near Moscow, though official confirmation is pending.
Russian media outlet Readovka, known for its connections with Prigozhin, suggests that the mercenary group has a preset protocol in place should Prigozhin or Utkin meet untimely deaths.
A source who spoke with Daily Mail confirmed, “In the event of Prigozhin’s death, there is a mechanism for full mobilisation, regardless of who was at fault for his death.”
Channels linked to Wagner issued vengeful posts after the crash, indicating potential backlash if the leader’s death is confirmed.
The messages label those responsible as ‘traitors’ to Russia.
Mercenaries in a video said, “There’s a lot of talk right now about what the Wagner Group will do. We can tell you one thing.
“We are getting started, get ready for us.”
A former head of MI6, Sir John Sawyers while speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in respect to the incident said, “All the indications point to the fact that Putin has taken him out, he is reasserting his control.
“He is making clear to everyone both inside Russia and outside he is not going to brook any challenge.
“There is a slim chance he (Prigozhin) is not dead, and he wasn’t on that plane, he will be soon.”
The ex-spy added that security services would be able to detect if a missile had brought down the aircraft, but said he believed there was a “device on board which brought it down suddenly”.
Sir John concluded that it was a warning to other would-be rebels to ‘toe the line’.
Christopher Steele, who was with the Secret Intelligence Service and ran the MI6 Russia desk, added to John’s comments, arguing that downing Prigozhin’s plane would line up with ‘a pattern of state-backed activity’.
Steele said, “I would suspect very much that it was an FSB (Russian domestic intelligence service) or GRU (military intelligence service) operation.”
He pointed out that the plane crashed “just one day after General (Sergei) Surovikin was sacked from his job which was to be in charge of the security over the Russian homeland.
“He was seen as somebody that was one of the generals who was supporting Prigozhin and was an ally of his. For him to have been removed a day before does rather suggest a pattern of state-backed activity here.”
Fulham 0-2 Chelsea: Mudryk, Broja strike to earn Blues their second league win of the season
Chelsea bagged two first-half goals to seal a crucial win over West London rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage and move up to 11th on the Premier League table.
The Blues flew out of the blocks as they debuted their new Infinite Athlete kit and created the first chance of the match after only 80 seconds, but Armando Broja could not capitalise.
Chelsea looked bright with Enzo Fernandez conducting affairs, and they picked the Cottagers apart.
Mykhailo Mudryk was looking electric and dangerous. The Ukrainian winger opened the scoring on 18 as he controlled a pass from Levi Colwill before slotting the ball beyond Bernd Leno.
It was Mudryk’s first Premier League goal following his £88 million move from Shakhtar Donetsk in January. And within seconds, Chelsea had their second.
Tim Ream had a moment to forget as he gave the ball away to Cole Palmer. The young English playmaker then slipped Broja in, but Ream hit the ball off the Albanian striker as the ball trickled past Leno.
Fulham tried to find gaps behind Marc Cucurella and Axel Disasi on the right side of Chelsea’s defence, but it was not working. Chelsea controlled the game and held their two-goal going into the break.
In the second 45, Fulham came out with more attacking poise, and it helped that Mudryk went off with a knock, giving Fulham the impetus to come forward, but Chelsea’s defence stood resolute.
Vinicius and Alex Iwobi came on for Fulham and helped their side find spaces beyond Chelsea’s backline, but the Boys in Blue defended well and showed they were still dangerous.
Ian Maatsen, on for Mudryk, hit the post, and Leno had to be quick to smother Fernandez’s rebound effort. Fulham forced Chelsea to work for their lead, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men looked up to it.
Substitute Tom Cairney created a lovely chance for Sasa Lukic. However, Robert Sanchez stuck out a brilliant leg to save the effort and keep his side in it.
On 83, Willian tried an effort from outside the box, but it did not cause any problems for Sanchez as Chelsea ran out 2-0 victors
Tribunal verdict: Governor rejects judgement, calls for calm
Nasarawa State Governor, His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule has rejected Monday’s judgment of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal delivered in Lafia.
While speaking to teeming supporters of the APC at the Government House, Lafia, Governor Sule says the judgement will be challenged at the appeal court.
He however call on the people of the state to remain calm and law abiding.
Engr. Sule promised to continue discharging his duties as the Executive Governor with more vigor.
Man Utd winger Anthony in contention for Galatasaray UEFA champions league clash
Erik ten Hag has confirmed that Antony could feature for Manchester United against Galatasaray after rejoining his ranks at Old Trafford.
The Brazil international forward was granted indefinite leave by the Red Devils following a series of alarming allegations made against him by former girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin.
Antony has been back in his homeland since then, allowing him to meet with police forces in Sao Paulo.
He returned to England last week and has held five hours of talks with Greater Manchester Police.
The 23-year-old winger maintains his innocence – having also faced accusations from two other women.
United have allowed him to focus on off-field matters of late, but revealed ahead of a Premier League meeting with Crystal Palace that Antony had been given a green light to return to training and was once again available for selection.
He has only taken in one session since then, suggesting that he will be short on match fitness, but Ten Hag says the South American is in his thoughts ahead of the Champions League group stage meeting with Galatasaray on Tuesday.
The Dutch coach has said: “Antony will be in consideration but yesterday was his first time back in team training. We have a final training, then we’ll make a decision.”
Ten Hag added when delivering an update on Lisandro Martinez – with the World Cup-winning Argentine defender still struggling with a long-standing foot injury: “I can confirm, yeah. Licha Martinez will undergo surgery and the team news is Antony can probably return.”
Antony’s last appearance for United came in the club’s 3-1 defeat at Arsenal on September 3.
He was removed from the Brazil squad for the last round of international fixtures and has not registered a goal for club or country since April 16.
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