Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin dies in plane crash in Russia

2023-08-24 17:33:54
Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin dies in plane crash in Russia

Russian media say a plane has crashed in the northwest of the country, with the name of Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner private military group, being on the list of passengers onboard.

Russia's RT news channel said a private jet traveling from the capital Moscow to Saint Petersburg crashed “with no survivors” in Russia’s Tver Region on Wednesday. The crash killed ten people.

Meanwhile, citing Russian aviation authorities, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that Prigozhin was killed in the crash.

A Telegram channel associated with the Wagner Group said that its leader Prigozhin died, Reuters reported.

“The head of the Wagner Group, a Hero of Russia, a true patriot of his Motherland – Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin died as a result of the actions of traitors to Russia,” a post in the Grey Zone channel said.

Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations was cited by RT as saying that all 10 people on board had lost their lives and that Prigozhin “was listed among the passengers.”

"A private Embraer Legacy plane crashed en route from Moscow to St. Petersburg in the Tver region, near the Kuzhenkino village. There were 10 people on board, including 3 crew members. According to preliminary information, everyone on board was killed," the ministry said in a statement.

“Wagner Group private military company (PMC) leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was listed among passengers,” the statement added.

Russia’s Federal Agency for Air Transport said an investigation into the crash had been launched.

"An investigation of the Embraer plane crash that happened in the Tver Region this evening was initiated. According to the passenger list, the first and last name of Yevgeny Prigozhin was included in this list," the agency noted.

Unnamed Russian officials told RIA Novosti that “eight bodies” have been recovered so far and an investigation into the incident was underway.

Prigozhin led a short-lived armed mutiny against the Russian military leadership in June.

The mutiny, which lasted less than 24 hours, came to an end after the Wagner leader agreed to turn his troops back on their path to the Russian capital, following negotiations with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko aimed at de-escalating the situation.

In an audio message posted on Telegram on June 23, Prigozhin accused Russia’s military top brass of ordering a rocket attack on the group's field camps in Ukraine -- where Russia has been conducting a military operation -- killing "huge numbers” of his paramilitary forces. Authorities in Moscow, however, strongly denied his claim.

Following the deal, the Kremlin announced that Russia had dropped a criminal case previously filed against the head of the Wagner group.


Error! Error occured!