Wagner Group Chief Yevgeny Prigozhin Listed as Passenger in Fatal Plane Crash
In a shocking and dramatic turn of events, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the notorious Wagner Group, was reportedly among the passengers on a private plane that crashed northwest of Moscow on August 23. Russian state media has confirmed that all ten individuals on board the aircraft tragically lost their lives in the crash, which occurred in Tver Oblast. Photos from the scene depict the wreckage of the plane ablaze in a field.
The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, as reported by TASS News and RIA Novosti, confirmed Mr. Prigozhin’s presence on the passenger list of the ill-fated plane. Furthermore, Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency has also corroborated that Mr. Prigozhin was indeed aboard the aircraft. The flight was en route from Moscow to St. Petersburg, according to TASS.
Official sources have initiated an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash. Notably, a Telegram channel known as “Grey Zone,” with alleged connections to Wagner, has made claims that the plane was shot down by Russian air defense systems, specifically from the Russian Defense Ministry in the Bologovsky district of the Tver region. The channel cited local residents who reported hearing air defense activity prior to the crash.
World Vergence has reached out to US Military officials to confirm the number of casualties and identities of the victims. As of now, this information remains pending.
In a statement released by the Russian Federal Agency for Air Transport, preliminary data indicates that the aircraft carried seven passengers and three crew members. Investigative teams at the crash site have begun the process of gathering factual information related to the crew’s training, the aircraft’s technical condition, meteorological conditions along the flight path, dispatch services, and ground radio equipment.
The timing of this tragic incident is particularly notable, as it follows reports of Mr. Prigozhin’s death just hours earlier. Ukrainian officials have speculated that the Russian government may have played a role in the crash, suggesting that Mr. Prigozhin’s decision to abort his march on Moscow may have led to a “demonstrative elimination.” Such speculation has raised concerns about potential political motivations, particularly in light of Russia’s upcoming 2024 elections.
In response to inquiries about Mr. Prigozhin’s fate, President Joe Biden, currently on vacation in Lake Tahoe, California, commented, “I don’t know for a fact what happened but I’m not surprised.” The President remained cautious, stating that he lacked sufficient information to provide a definitive answer.
The incident continues to unfold, and further details are awaited as the investigation progresses.