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Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was on ‘airplane that crashed killing all 10 on board’ – however loss of life but to be confirmed | World Information

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Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin was on board a airplane that crashed north of Moscow killing all 10 passengers on board, Russia’s Civil Aviation Authority has stated.

There was no remark from the Kremlin or Russia’s defence ministry as Prigozhin’s loss of life is but to be formally confirmed.

The crash comes two months after the Wagner mercenary boss led a short-lived munity towards Russia’s navy high brass.

He was described on the time by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “traitor”.

The actual fact Prigozhin’s loss of life has not been confirmed and an absence of verifiable information has led to hypothesis following the crash.

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A few of the Wagner boss’s supporters have blamed the Russian state, whereas others have pointed the finger at Ukraine which is marking its Independence Day at the moment.

Rosaviatsia, Russia’s aviation company, printed the names of all 10 folks on board the downed airplane.

This included Prigozhin and his deputy Dmitry Utkin who helped discovered the Wagner mercenary group.

The Investigative Committee of Russia has stated it’s wanting into the crash which occurred whereas the airplane was travelling from Moscow to St Petersburg.

A physique bag is carried away from the scene of the crash. Pic: AP

Yevgeny Prigozhin says his mercenaries are active in Africa
Yevgeny Prigozhin in Africa the place his Wagner mercenaries have been working

The committee has confirmed in a press release that 10 folks have been killed and a felony case has been opened – however there was no point out of Prigozhin.

A Reuters reporter on the crash web site has seen males carrying black physique luggage away from the scene on a stretcher.

A part of the airplane’s tail and different fragments lay on the bottom close to a wooded space the place forensic investigators had erected a tent.

Gray Zone, a Telegram channel linked to Wagner, has pronounced their chief {dead}.

The group additionally hailed Prigozhin as a hero and a patriot who had died by the hands of unidentified folks it referred to as “traitors to Russia”.

Learn extra:
Putin’s revenge was a dish best served cold

What we know about the crash

Emergency specialists carry a body bag near wreckages of the private jet linked to Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin at the crash site in the Tver region, Russia
Emergency specialists carry a physique bag close to wreckages of the jet

Mourners left flowers and lit candles close to Wagner’s workplaces in St Petersburg early on Thursday.

Some unnamed sources instructed Russian media they believed the airplane had been shot down by a number of surface-to-air missiles.

Whoever or no matter was behind the crash, Prigozhin’s loss of life would rid Mr Putin of somebody who had mounted essentially the most severe problem to the Russian chief’s authority since he got here to energy in 1999.

Others who’ve opposed Mr Putin or his pursuits have additionally died below unclear circumstances or come near loss of life, together with outspoken political leaders and journalists.

A wreckage of the private jet linked to Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin is seen near the crash site in the Tver region, Russia, August 24, 2023. REUTERS/Marina Lystseva
Wreckage from the non-public jet which crashed north of Moscow

The Kremlin has at all times denied any state involvement in such incidents.

Abbas Gallyamov, a former Putin speech author turned critic whom the Russian authorities have branded a “international agent”, prompt, with out proof, that the Russian chief, who is anticipated to run for one more time period in workplace subsequent yr, was behind the crash and had strengthened his authority within the course of.

“The institution is now satisfied that it’s going to not be attainable to oppose Putin,” Gallyamov wrote on Telegram. “Putin
is robust sufficient and able to revenge.”

Yevgeny Prigozhin and Vladimir Putin in 2011. Pic: AP
Yevgeny Prigozhin and Vladimir Putin in 2011. Pic: AP

The airplane that crashed, a Brazilian Embraer Legacy 600 mannequin, has solely recorded one accident in over 20 years of service, in response to web site Worldwide Aviation HQ, and it was not as a result of mechanical failure.

Embraer stated it has complied with worldwide sanctions imposed on Russia and had not offered upkeep for the
plane since 2019.

The airplane confirmed no signal of an issue till a precipitous drop in its closing 30 seconds, in response to flight-tracking information.

Prigozhin was last seen in a video on Monday that appeared to have been shot in Africa, the place he spoke about making the continent “free”.

The Wagner Group boss launched footage of himself talking whereas carrying camouflage and holding a rifle.

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