Despite taking the business to Russia back in June, Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of the Russian mercenary group Wagner died when his plane went down outside Moscow. According to the Russian Federal Air Transport via Russian news agency Tass, “An investigation has been launched into the crash of the Embraer aircraft, which occurred tonight in the Tver region. According to the list of passengers, among them is the name and surname of Yevgeny Prigozhin.”
The private Embraer jet went down with seven passengers and three crew on board. Downing in the village of Kuzhenkino, in the Tver region, all occupants were reported dead, and an investigation into the incident is ongoing. Along with Prigozhin was his closest lieutenant Dmitriy Utkin who has been by his side since Wagner started, and senior aide Valeriy Chekalov, both had been reported among those in the manifest.
Given the previous sudden uprising in Russia, Prigozhin ended it when he reached a deal with Russian authorities. Part of that deal was the group’s relocation to Belarus. Yet nothing has been released about his reasons for being there. However, Putin was hundreds of miles away celebrating the anniversary of the Soviet Union defeating Nazi Germany.
President Biden tried taking some street credit for this death by claiming he predicted it and even hinted that Putin could be behind it. Speaking with CNN, he said, “You may recall, I was asked about this. I said I would be careful what I rode in. I don’t know for a fact what happened, but I’m not surprised.”
Russian state media outlet RIA Novosti just happened to of obtained footage of the plane shortly before its crash. In the footage, a plane is shown coming from the sky with a wing missing. In a separate clip, a video of the wreckage at the crash site shows an engine with “2795” markings, and the tail number was “RA-02795.”