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Investigative Committee of Russia: black boxes found at the crash site of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s plane

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The Investigative Committee of Russia announced on Friday that black boxes were found in the place where the plane crashed, on board which, according to the Russian air transport agency, Rosaviatsia, was the head of the mercenary formation of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Investigative Committee Russia also announced that ten dead bodies of the private plane of the founder of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, had been found at the crash site.

The committee’s statement said that molecular and genetic testing is being carried out to determine the identities of the victims.

Investigators also informed that “flight recorders have been seized, a detailed inspection of the scene is underway, and items and documents relevant to establishing all circumstances of the crash are being secured.”

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READ ALSO: Russian office: Yevgeny Prigozhin is dead, he was on a plane that crashed north of Moscow

Earlier on Friday, the RIA Novosti news agency reported that the wreckage of the plane had been removed from the place where it crashed.

The site of the Prigozhin plane crash in the Tver region PAP/EPA

The site of the Prigozhin plane crash in the Tver region ANATOLY MALTSEV/PAP/EPA

READ ALSO: Putin spoke about Prigozhin. “He was a man with complicated fates. And he made mistakes”

Versions of events

On Wednesday late in the evening, the Russian portal RBK reported that investigators are considering “several versions of events, including pilot error, technical problems and external influences.” Independent Russian media, citing their own sources, reported that fragments of Prigozhin’s plane were found two kilometers away, which may indicate that it exploded in the air.

“Russian media reports that the wing and landing gear of the Prigozhin business jet have been found. They fell three kilometers from the crash site into the Lodyzhenka River, near the Kuzhenkino railway station. A few hundred meters from the place where the plane’s tail was found. This may confirm the version that the plane broke up in the air,” Anton Herashchenko, adviser to the head of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, wrote on Twitter.

Kremlin spokesman’s response

During Friday’s conference, the spokesman of the Kremlin Dmitry Peskov he said that “now there is a lot of speculation around this crash, around the tragic death of the passengers of the plane, including Yevgeny Prigozhin.”

– Of course, in the West all these speculations are presented from a certain point of view. All this is an absolute lie,” Peskov said, referring to reports that the Kremlin authorities were involved in a plane crash in the Tver region.

The rebellion of Prigozhin and the Wagner Group

Two months earlier, on June 23, Prigozhin and his mercenaries who fought in Ukraine, rebelled against the authorities in Moscow and moved to the Russian capital. Before they got there, Prigozhin announced a retreat to avoid bloodshed, he said. After the failed rebellion, part of Prigozhin’s group was transferred to Belarus.

Prigozhin’s Embraer Legacy 600, flying from Moscow to St. Petersburg, crashed on Wednesday evening near the village of Kuzhenkino in the Tver region, about 400 km north of the Russian capital.

Rosaviacja reported that the name of Yevgeny Prigozhin was on the passenger list. The commander of the Wagner Group, Dmitry Utkin, nicknamed “Wagner”, was also on board the plane.

tvn24.pl, RIA Nowosti, RBK, Interfax

Main photo source: PAP/EPA

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