Friday, June 14, 2024

Wagner boss among passengers of crashed jet

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Private Military Company, was listed on board a jet that crashed with no survivors, authorities have confirmed on Wednesday.

A private jet traveling from Moscow to St. Petersburg crashed on Wednesday in Russia’s Tver Region.

The Russian Emergencies Ministry announced all 10 people on board had died. Rosaviation has since said that Prigozhin was listed among the passengers.

“The Embraer plane was flying out of Sheremetyevo to St. Petersburg. There were three crew and seven passengers on board. They all died,” an Emergencies Ministry official told TASS.

The crash happened near the village of Kuzhenkino in the northwestern Tver Region.

Some Russian outlets have identified the plane as an Embraer Legacy 600, with the tail number RA-02795, which is believed to belong to Prigozhin.

The Russian federal air transport agency also confirmed that Prighozhin’s name was on the passenger manifest.

Eight bodies have been recovered so far, officials told RIA Novosti.

An investigation into the incident is underway.

Rosaviation added that it has established a special commission to investigate the cause and circumstances of the incident. It identified the airplane as the Embraer-135BJ private jet, owned by the company MNT-Aero.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, but Prigozhin’s longstanding feud with the military and the armed uprising he led in June would give the Russian state ample motive for revenge.

Media channels linked to Wagner quickly suggested that a Russian air defence missile had shot down the plane.

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