A plane carrying Wagner mercenary group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin reportedly crashed on Wednesday in the Tver region northwest of Moscow, the Moscow Times reported citing Russia’s emergencies ministry.
All 10 people on board the plane have been killed, as per the ministry’s preliminary information, as reported by ANI.
⚡A plane carrying Yevgeny Prigozhin has crashed in Russia’s Tver region. According to preliminary information from Russia’s emergencies ministry, all on board were killed.
Aviation authorities identified Prigozhin as one of the people on board, but his condition remains…
— The Moscow Times (@MoscowTimes) August 23, 2023
According to Rosaviatsia, the Russian government’s aviation agency, an individual with Prigozhin’s name was on board.
Prigozhin’s condition and whereabouts remain unknown as of yet.
Moscow Times has reported that the bodies of all 10 passengers have been recovered. Prighozin’s name appears alongside Dmitry Utkin, a co-founder of Wagner and a top commander in the mercenary group.
Igor Rudenya, the governor of the Tver area, has taken “personal control” of the response to the plane crash, according to his press department, which also noted that the aircraft was a civil one, according to Moscow Times.
More details awaited.
It is notable here that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of the mercenary group PMC Wagner, had started an alleged ‘coup’ against Russian President Vladimir Putin in the month of June. Alleging differences with the Russian Ministry of Defense and government in general, Prighozin had started a ‘mutiny’ and had proceeded to Moscow.
On the 23rd of June, the Wagner Group staged a rebellion against the Russian leadership and its military. However, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko brokered a deal between Russian President Putin and Wagner chief Prigozhin.
As a result of this deal, Prigozhin was allowed to take exile in Belarus. On the 25th of June, Belarusian President Lukashenko confirmed Prigozhin’s arrival in Belarus. Soon after, the Russian government gave an option to Wagner fighters to join the formal Russian military, and a crackdown against Prighozin’s business empire was launched. Currently, the group is engaged in combat in Ukraine and several regions of Africa. Wagner Group is currently the world’s largest mercenary organization and soldiers from around the world join it to continue a career in combat.
Responding to news of Prighozin’s mutiny against his government, President Putin declared it an act of treason against Russia and stated that Russia would answer to those who betrayed the nation.