Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin is believed to have been killed in a plane crash in Russia near Moscow. The plane was en route from Moscow to St. Petersburg and crashed last evening, leaving no survivors. Prigozhin, who led a failed revolt against the Kremlin in June and was given sanctuary in Belarus, was on the passenger list. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin was attending an event, and UK security officials speculate Russia’s FSB may have downed the plane on Putin’s orders.
- Plane Crash Near Moscow: A private jet crashed near Moscow, killing all 10 people onboard. Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was on the passenger list, but his presence onboard is not yet confirmed.
- Prigozhin’s Background: Yevgeny Prigozhin led a failed revolt against the Kremlin in June, and was later given sanctuary in Belarus. His death, if confirmed, could have significant implications for the Wagner Group’s future operations.
- UK’s Speculation on Crash: British security officials believe that Russia’s FSB intelligence service might have shot down Prigozhin’s jet on orders from Vladimir Putin. This comes in the context of Prigozhin’s defiance against the Kremlin.
- Wagner Group’s Co-Founder: Dmitry Utkin, the founder of the Wagner group, was reportedly onboard the crashed jet. The Wagner Group is known to have fought alongside Russia’s regular army in Ukraine.
- Putin’s Reaction: As news of the crash broke, Russian President Vladimir Putin was speaking at an event. The Russian government’s swift confirmation of Prigozhin’s presence on the plane and subsequent reports have led to further speculations about the incident’s political implications.