According to the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, a jet that crashed on Wednesday northwest of Moscow was carrying the head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, which staged a brief uprising against the country’s military government in June.
Wagner chief In a statement, the Federal Air Transport Agency announced that “an investigation has been launched into the crash of the Embraer aircraft, which occurred tonight in the Tver region,” according to the official state news agency TASS. Yevgeny Prigozhin’s name and last name are on the list of passengers, according to the information provided.
According to the Russian Ministry of Emergency Services, the private Embraer plane carrying seven passengers and three crew members went down on Wednesday near the village of Kuzhenkino in the Tver area. According to preliminary information, all passengers on board were murdered, the ministry stated, adding that they “are conducting search operations.”
According to a list of passengers provided by the Russian aviation bureau, Prigozhin’s loyal lieutenant Utkin Dmitriy and senior adviser Valeriy Chekalov were among those traveling on the aircraft.
According to state-run media outlet Russia 24, the accident site has yielded the bodies of eight persons. The jet “burned up” on impact after around 30 minutes in the air, according to TASS earlier.
Following the crash, Russian investigators opened a criminal case. A team was en route to the area, according to the Russian Investigative Committee, to “establish the causes of the crash.”
The incident occurred months after Prigozhin abruptly put an end to a mutiny that posed a rare challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s power and forced the Wagner chief head and his fighters to move to Belarus.
After Russia’s extensive invasion of Ukraine last year, Wagner chief forces played a significant role in the conquest of the eastern Ukrainian cities of Soledar and Bakhmut. Prior to calling for the armed insurrection, Prigozhin spent months denouncing the Russian military command and the assistance it was providing his troops.
The plane that crashed north of Moscow, according to a senior Ukrainian official, “is a manifestation of Putin’s Russia.”
This is why we are battling, the top official, who is close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, added. “We don’t want to be a part of Putin’s world.”
US Vice President Joe Biden indicated that Putin might be to blame for the accident. You might remember that I was questioned about this, Biden told News. “I promised I would ride carefully. Although I have no concrete knowledge of what occurred, I am not shocked.
Putin was participating in a celebration in the Kursk region to commemorate the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s triumph over Nazi Germany when news of the disaster broke.
Video shows plane falling out of sky
A plane with one missing wing was seen falling out of the sky in a video that was released by the Russian state media agency RIA Novosti. News cannot verify the video’s veracity, but according to RIA Novosti, it shows the exact moment an Embraer plane crashed from the skies over the Tver region.
Another video that was also made available by RIA Novosti claims to show airplane engine wreckage at the crash site. The last four digits of a registration number, 2795, can be seen on the still-burning engine wreckage. The flight number of Prigozhin’s aircraft is RA-02795.
Wagner chief was on plane that crashed in Russia, aviation authority says
Russian officials reported that the plane, which had taken off from Moscow and was headed for St. Petersburg, stopped transmitting data shortly after 6 o’clock local time before crashing close to the village of Kuzhenkino.
Before suddenly ceasing to transmit, shortly after 6 p.m. local time, southwest of the city of Tver, according to publicly accessible flight tracking data, the Prigozhin-linked plane ascended to an altitude of about 28,000 feet.
Due to how aircraft data around Moscow is gathered, tracking website FlightRadar24 informed News that it is currently reviewing data that is “likely incomplete.”
The jet, which has been connected to Prigozhin’s businesses and the Wagner chief Group, has previously been covered by News.
The aircraft is thought to have previously transported Prigozhin between Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Belarus after serving as his short-lived mutiny’s headquarters in Rostov-on-Don in June.
Based on the ERJ 145 regional airliner operated by American carriers, the Embraer Legacy 600 is a business jet.
‘Russia has an open windows policy’
In the wake of the suppressed insurrection, senior Biden administration officials have frequently and openly warned that Prigozhin might be murdered by the Kremlin.
President Biden stated in July that he would keep an eye on his menu.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and CIA Director Bill Burns backed Biden’s remarks, with Burns emphasizing that Putin has a long history of retaliation.
“Putin is the greatest proponent of retaliation, in my opinion. So I’d be shocked if Prigozhin avoids receiving more justice for this. In that regard, the president is correct. Later in July, Burns remarked, “I wouldn’t fire my food taster if I were Prigozhin.
“If I were Mr. Prigozhin, I would continue to be quite worried. In July, Blinken added, “NATO has an open-door policy; Russia has an open-windows policy.
The opportunity and turmoil of the post-Soviet Russian economy allowed Prigozhin to amass fortune over a long period of time.
After the Russian-backed separatist conflict in the Donbas in eastern Ukraine in 2014, his shift from a wealthy businessman to a vicious warlord took place.
That year, Prigozhin established Wagner chief as a mercenary group that participated in battles in Ukraine and, to a greater extent, elsewhere in the world for causes supported by Russia. Despite evidence to the contrary, he has always denied having any affiliation to the mysterious group.
Wagner chief intimate association with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which resulted in exceptional successes for the Kremlin, catapulted him into the public eye.
But after raging against the country’s military leadership for their handling of the Ukraine war on June 23, he ran afoul of Russian authorities when they ordered the violent uprising against Putin. The Wagner boss’s criminal charges were dismissed, but Putin nevertheless threatened to punish anybody who followed the “path of treason” in a speech at the time.