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Aug 25 – On Wednesday, Russian state-run news media reported that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner group that staged a mutiny against Russia’s army in June, was among the passengers on a plane that crashed.
“The plane that crashed in the Tver Region listed Yevgeny Prigozhin among its passengers, (Russia’s aviation agency) Rosaviatsia said,” TASS reported, citing RIA Novosti and Interfax.
“There were ten people on board, three of whom were crew members.” “All those on board died, according to preliminary information,” Russia’s emergency situation ministry had declared immediately before.
The government said about 1700 GMT that a “private Embraer Legacy aircraft travelling from Moscow to Saint Petersburg crashed near the village of Kuzhenkino in the Tver Region.”
It stated that it was conducting searches.
Videos on Wagner-linked Telegram accounts showed the wreckage of a jet burning in a field, which AFP could not independently confirm.
In June, Prigozhin staged a brief insurrection against Russia’s conventional army, with hundreds of mercenaries arming themselves and advancing from southern Russia to Moscow with the goal of overthrowing the country’s military commanders.
The rebellion concluded with a compromise mediated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, under which Prigozhin and some of his troops were scheduled to relocate to nearby Belarus.