Yevgeny Prigozhin’s name appears on the list of passengers who were on board the aircraft. The accident left no survivors.
A private plane crashed this Wednesday in the Russian province of Tver. The Russian Emergencies Ministry reported that 10 people were on board of the aircraft, including three crew members. None of them survived the accident.
According to data from Flightradar24, it is an Embraer 600 executive plane with the serial number RA-02795, which was heading from Moscow to Saint Petersburg and belonged to the head of the Wagner group, Yevgueni Prigozhin.
⚡️ 10 dead are reported when a private plane crashing on a flight from Moscow to St. Petersburg According to the Russian Emergencies Ministry, 10 people were on board the crashed ship, including three crew members. According to the media, all of them died. pic.twitter.com/ZnAOFB5TnJ
— Know More (@Sepa_mass) August 23, 2023
Was the Wagner leader on the plane?
For its part, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency has published the complete list of people who were on board the plane. It contains the name of Yevgeny Prigozhin and the one of Dmitry Utkinone of the founders and commanders of the Wagner group.
However, so far there is no official data on whether the head of the Wagner group was really among the passengers nor has his death been confirmed. At the same time, there is also no official information about it from Utkin.
According to FlightRadar24, a second plane linked to Prigozhin with the serial number RA-02878 left Moscow shortly after the first plane crashed, but returned to land after news of the crash broke.
Previously, the emergency services found the bodies of eight people at the place where the private plane crashed. It was not reported if they have already been identified.
A special commission created by Rosaviatsia has launched an investigation into the circumstances and causes of the accident. The governor of the Tver region, Igor Rudenia, stated that he will personally supervise the investigation.
For its part, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation has opened a investigation for violation of flight rules after the accident.
Who is Yevgeny Prigozhin?
Yevgeny Prigozhin was born on June 1, 1961 in Saint Petersburg. In the 1990s he dedicated himself to the catering and retail business, and already in the 2010s he founded the private military company Wagner which, among others, carried out missions in Africa.
In 2022, the Wagner group began fighting in Ukraine as part of the military operation launched by Russia. In particular, he participated in the capture of the cities of solder and artyomovsk (known as Bakhmut in Ukraine).
Since 2016 Prigozhin has been under sanctions introduced by the US and, since 2020, by the European Union and the United Kingdom.
an attempted rebellion
On June 24, the Wagner group attempted to carry out an insurrection that was described by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “military mutiny“. Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that attacks were carried out against his units, blaming the Russian military leadership for them. For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry refuted these accusations.
Wagner’s fighters who supported Prigozhin entered the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don and reported that they would head towards Moscow.
Faced with the situation, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, held talks with Prigozhin and managed to get the members of the military group to return to their positions. Subsequently, Moscow reported that the Wagner group would be transferred to Belarus. On June 29, Vladimir Putin received Prigozhin and Wagner’s commanders in the Kremlin, where he held a three-hour talk with them.