Is Yevgeny Prigozhin Dead? Russia Claims Wagner Group Boss Killed in Plane Crash Outside Moscow, Two Months after Failed Coup [WATCH]

Prigozhin spearheaded a mutiny within his military group against Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 24.

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Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin is feared killed in a plane crash in Russia. This incident comes two months after his unsuccessful coup attempt against Putin. Prigozhin, the Russian dissident Putin labeled a "traitor," is believed to have been killed when a private jet crashed outside Moscow Wednesday evening.

According to the TASS news agency, Prigozhin's name was present on the passenger list of the Embraer aircraft that crashed close to the village of Kuzhenkino, located 60 miles north of Moscow, as reported by the Federal Agency for Air Transport.

Strange Coincidence

Yevgeny Prigozhin
Yevgeny Prigozhin Twitter

Video footage appears to show the airplane falling from the sky in the Bologovsky district within the Tver region, located 60 miles north of Moscow. A burning debris, resembling that of an aircraft, was later seen in a field. Images, which have yet to be confirmed, seem to show the wreckage engulfed in flames.

Initially, it was uncertain whether Prigozhin, the head of Wagner and known as Putin's chef, along with his longstanding connections to the Kremlin, was on board. However, reports later indicated that his name was indeed present on the passenger list.

"An investigation of the Embraer plane crash that happened in the Tver Region this evening was initiated. According to the passenger list, first and last name of Yevgeny Prigozhin was included in this list," the agency stated.

Unverified media reports suggested that Prigozhin might have owned the jet.

Officials told TASS that 10 passengers were on board the aircraft when it crashed less than 30 minutes into its flight from Sheremetyevo Airport west of the Russian capital to St. Petersburg.

While AFP initially verified the fatalities, current reports indicate that the precise identities of the deceased are not confirmed. Russian authorities have said that a business jet crash in Russia resulted in the deaths of 10 people.

Yevgeny Prigozhin
The aircraft seen burning that was believed to have been carrying Yevgeny Prigozhin Twitter

As of Wednesday evening, it has been confirmed that President Biden has been informed of the situation by Washington.

Witnesses to the crash reported hearing a loud bang before seeing the jet falling from the sky.

Photos circulating on social media appear to show the fiery remnants of the aircraft located within a field in the Tver region. According to Russian media, eight bodies have been retrieved up to this point.

Plumes of black smoke can be seen billowing into the sky, with the wreck completely engulfed in flames.

Yevgeny Prigozhin
The aircraft carrying Yevgeny Prigozhin is seen falling from the sky Twitter

The number "795" can faintly be made out near the scrap heap's border. These digits align with the plane associated with the former military figure.

Silencing His Critic

Prigozhin spearheaded a mutiny within his military group against Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 24. The group advanced toward Moscow, but the operation was abandoned approximately 100 miles prior to reaching the capital. The troops eventually reversed course and returned to the front lines.

Yevgeny Prigozhin
Yevgeny Prigozhin has leveled accusations against Russia, claiming that his war camps in Ukraine were bombed. Twitter

The plane crash comes just two days after Prigozhin gave his first video message since the unsuccessful coup attempt.

The unverified video footage shows the mercenary dressed in camouflage and carrying an assault weapon. This video surfaced on Tuesday across Telegram channels associated with the Wagner Group.

"The Wagner PMC (private military company) makes Russia even greater on all continents, and Africa – even more free," the oligarch said in the video, which included a phone number for recruits.

The video is suspected to have been taken somewhere within Africa, considering that a plane linked to Prigozhin reportedly landed in Bamako, Mali, on Sunday.

In 2021, the Wagner Group was engaged by a local military junta in Mali, following the expulsion of UN peacekeepers and French troops from the country.

Prior to the release of the video footage, Prigozhin had maintained a low profile following the June 24 uprising, which posed a threat to Russia's military leadership due to their handling of the conflict in Ukraine.

Wagner fighters have suffered enough casualties in the ongoing conflict, particularly in their role leading the assault on Bakhmut.

Yevgeny Prigozhin
Yevgeny Prigozhin Twitter

Prigozhin has been increasingly cautious after a coup attempt against Putin's regime exactly two months ago. After the failed coup, he received warnings that his life was at risk, prompting him to exercise stringent security measures.

As per Russia's state news agency Tass, the crashed plane carried a total of three pilots and seven passengers.

A Wagner-affiliated channel suggested that the aircraft had been brought down by air defenses, but this claim remains unverified.

Sources with proximity to Prigozhin revealed that, although the plane belonged to him, he typically utilized a different aircraft for his travel.

In the aftermath of the crash, a second aircraft, also allegedly linked to Prigozhin, was spotted maneuvering in a zig-zag pattern above Moscow. This development has spurred speculation that Prigozhin might not have been aboard the ill-fated plane after all.

Related topics : Fake news