Yevgeny Prigozhin buried without fanfare in working-class cemetery after living final year in blaze of self-publicity

From alpha to omega, Yevgeny Prigozhin has ended life as it began.

He was born a poor man, a common criminal and his final resting place is a modest grave in a workers' cemetery.

He rose from obscurity to great power, fame and riches. But his fall from grace was as spectacular as any hero in a Shakespearean tragedy.

Read more: Russia responds to new Ukraine tech with 200-year-old strategy - war latest

As a man honoured with the title 'Hero of Russia', Prigozhin could have expected full honours in death. A state orchestra, military escorts, volleys of gunfire, crowds of mourners.

Instead, it was a small ceremony kept secret so people stayed away.

Prigozhin was the commander whose forces took Bakhmut, one of the only Russian successes in this wretched war and the mercenary warlord who made untold millions with his Wagner Group in Africa.

But he is now humbled in death.

It was, says one British diplomat who knows the Russian leader well, the only send-off Vladimir Putin could have given him.

Anything else might have been the focus of unrest.

Sir Tony Brenton said: "You do the proper thing, you bury him next to his father, the relatives are there, you give him necessary honours in some sense, but you do not create an opportunity, a platform, for any kind of support for Prigozhin going forward."

Prigozhin's descent from power and riches was as steep as his plane's the day it fell from the sky - brought down almost certainly on the orders of Putin.

Read more:
Prigozhin's legacy will live on - Sean Bell
Timeline of Wagner leader's movements after mutiny

Cameras were allowed to film another funeral, that of Wagner's money man and logistics chief, Valery Chekalov, who was also on that plane.

No news yet of Dmitri Utkin's final send-off - the neo-Nazi deputy of the group was also on board.

Prigozhin's fate was sealed when his forces took Russia's military headquarters in Rostov-on-Don. His armed rebellion fizzled on the outskirts of Moscow.

He had lived his last year in a brash and brazen blaze of self-publicity. In marked contrast to his final fate, buried without fanfare in a working-class cemetery.

For a man who rose from nothing and always had a common touch with ordinary Russians, it was perhaps a fitting end.