Since Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin lost his life in a plane crash in August, there have been several speculations about who was behind it.
Now, the Wall Street Journal is presenting their take on who orchestrated what many have since termed an assassination of 'Putin's chef.'
And the finger points towards Moscow.
The newspaper writes that it was Vladimir Putin's right-hand man and the head of the Russian security service, Nikolai Patrushev, who allegedly gave the order for Prigozhin's death.
Several Small Bombs
Several months after the plane crash, Vladimir Putin publicly speculated that the explosion on Prigozhin's plane could have occurred because the people on board had mishandled grenades and were likely influenced by both alcohol and drugs.
However, according to the American newspaper, this is far from the truth.
Instead, they believe that several small bombs had been placed on the plane's wings while it was at the airport in Moscow.
Yevgeny Prigozhin and the notorious Wagner Group quickly became an important part of the Russian war machine, and they found themselves several times in the eye of the war storm, participating in some of the largest and most bloody Russian military operations in Ukraine.
However, the waves really went high in June, when a conflict between the Russian top and the Wagner chief led to a brief but groundbreaking attempt at mutiny.
In fact, it was only due to intervention from Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that Prigozhin stopped his so-called 'peace march' towards Moscow and instead moved the entire Wagner Group to Belarus.
And even though one might think that everything was joy and happiness afterward, it took less than two months before Yevgeny Prigozhin and a number of other top officials from the Wagner Group had to lose their lives.
The plane crash occurred shortly after in the airspace between Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and Russia was quick to state that they had no intention of investigating the episode further.
Tired of Him
According to several sources that the Wall Street Journal has been in contact with, Nikolai Patrushev had long seen the Wagner chief as a threat, even before the fateful rebellion in June.
Patrushev was reportedly concerned that the Wagner Group had gained too much power, and he was also dissatisfied with Prigozhin's outspoken manner, which was evident when the Wagner chief criticized the top of the Russian military.
Therefore, Patrushev made a plan to remove Prigozhin from the equation – a plan that Putin, according to the Wall Street Journal, did not 'protest against.'