Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, which led an unsuccessful coup against Russian president Vladimir Putin has been reportedly killed in a plane crash, Russian civil aviation authority Rosaviatsia said. The Russian Civil Aviation Authority have said that Yevgeny Prigozhin was on the list of passengers on the plane, the report claimed.
The notorious warlord had launched a failed coup against president Vladimir Putin in June.
The plane crashed on a flight from Moscow to St Petersburg, reports claimed. All 10 people on the plane, including three crew members, died in the crash, Russia’s emergency ministry said, according to state newswire RIA Novosti. Russian officials said a man with Yevgeny Prigozhin’s name was among the passengers, without sharing further details.
Unconfirmed media reports also claimed that the jet belonged to Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner private military company. Russia’s civilian aviation regulator, Rosaviatsia, said Prigozhin was on the passenger list but it was not immediately clear if he had boarded the flight, Reuters reported.
“An investigation has been launched into the Embraer plane crash that occurred tonight in the Tver region. According to the passenger list, among them is the name and surname of Yevgeny Prigozhin,” Rosaviatsia said.
Earlier, a Wagner-linked Telegram channel Grey Zone reported that the jet was shot down by air defences in Tver region, north of Moscow, BBC reported.
Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private military force Wagner has also fought alongside Russia’s regular army in Ukraine. After the short lived coup, the Kremlin said that he would be exiled to Belarus, and his fighters would either retire, follow him there, or join the Russian military.