RUSSIA: Plane Reportedly Carrying Yevgeny Prigozhin Crashes in Russia
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Courtesy of The Moscow Times [website: https://www.themoscowtimes.com]
A plane reportedly carrying Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has crashed in the Tver region northwest of Moscow, Russia’s emergencies ministry said Wednesday.
According to the ministry, eight bodies were recovered from the crash site of the private Embraer Legacy jet, which landed near the village of Kuzhenkino. Authorities had earlier said that ten people in total were on board the aircraft.
Russia’s state aviation agency Rosaviatsia said an individual with Prigozhin’s name was one of the people on board, the state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported.
Prigozhin’s condition and whereabouts remain unknown.
Tver region Governor Igor Rudenya has taken “personal control” over the response to the plane crash, his press service told state media, adding that the plane was a civil aircraft.
The Wagner-affiliated Grey Zone Telegram channel claimed the plane had been shot down by the Russian military’s air defense systems, but this information could not be verified.
Independent journalist Andrei Zakharov, citing an unnamed source, said Prigozhin on Wednesday was returning to Russia from a trip in Africa, where Wagner mercenaries have operated for years and where Prigozhin was recently filmed for a recruitment video.
“It would be a miracle if he’s on another plane,” the source said.
Prigozhin’s press secretary declined to comment on the incident, Russian journalist Ksenia Sobchak reported.
In June, a mutiny led by Prigozhin plunged Russia into its most serious security crisis in decades. The Wagner chief eventually abandoned his march on Moscow, where he sought to overthrow the country’s military leadership, as part of a last-ditch deal that offered him immunity from criminal prosecution.
On Tuesday, Prigozhin appeared on video recruiting new fighters for deployment in Africa, however, the exact location of where the video was filmed was unknown.
This story is being updated.
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