Wagner chief news LIVE updates: Yevgeny Prigozhin presumed dead in plane crash

Mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, who led a brief armed rebellion against Russia’s military leadership in June, was killed in a plane crash on Wednesday. Mercenaries of the Wagner Group were fighting in Ukraine but Prigozhin increasingly denounced Russia’s defense establishment for denying weapons and ammunition to his forces. In June, the Wagner boss abruptly called for an armed uprising to oust Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and led his forces to seize the military headquarters in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a televised address, vowed to punish those behind the rebellion, calling it “betrayal” and “treason.” Prigozhin, however, called off the action within 24 hours in a deal struck by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, top, serves food to then-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at Prigozhin’s restaurant outside Moscow, Russia, (AP Photo/File)

Follow all the updates here:

  • Aug 24, 2023 08:34 AM IST

    Second plane linked to Prigozhin turned back

    Soon after the plane crashed, a second private jet linked to Prigozhin which also appeared to be heading to St. Petersburg, Prigozhin’s home base, turned back to Moscow, flight tracking data showed, and later landed.

  • Aug 24, 2023 08:17 AM IST

    Ukraine presidential aide says plane crash was ‘signal from Kremlin’

    Ukraine Presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak wrote on social media that the crash of the plane was a signal from the Kremlin to anyone who showed disloyalty. “The demonstrative elimination of Prigozhin and the Wagner command two months after the coup attempt is a signal from Putin to Russia’s elites ahead of the 2024 elections. ‘Beware! Disloyalty equals death’”, Podolyak wrote, reported ANI citing Al Jazeera.

  • Aug 24, 2023 08:11 AM IST

    Floral tributes in St.Petersburg for Wagner’s Prigozhin

    People put flowers and patches at a makeshift memorial near former PMC Wagner Centre in Saint Petersburg, Russia August 24, 2023. (REUTERS)
    People put flowers and patches at a makeshift memorial near former PMC Wagner Centre in Saint Petersburg, Russia August 24, 2023. (REUTERS)

  • Aug 24, 2023 07:56 AM IST

    Who were the other people on plane that crashed?

    The crashed private jet carried seven passengers and three crew members. According to Russia’s aviation agency, the seven passengers were identified as  – Prigozhin and his right-hand man Dmitry Utkin, Sergei Propustin, Yevgeny Makaryan, Alexander Totmin, Valery Chekalov and Nikolai Matuseyev; while the crew members were identified as Captain Alexei Levshin, co-pilot Rustam Karimov and flight attendant Kristina Raspopova.

  • Aug 24, 2023 07:25 AM IST

    ‘Contract was put out on Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin in Russia’, claims ex spy

    A former British intelligence officer said that he received information previously regarding a contract that had been put out on Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin. Read more

  • Aug 24, 2023 06:47 AM IST

    Biden unsurprised by report of Prigozhin’s death

    US President Joe Biden said he was not surprised by reports that Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin had died in a plane crash. The White House said Biden had been briefed on the crash and he told reporters he did not know for a fact what had happened.

    “But I’m not surprised,” Biden said.

    “There is not much that happens in Russia that Putin is not behind, but I don’t know enough to know the answer.”

  • Aug 24, 2023 06:31 AM IST

    On Prigozhin’s death, Elon Musk says took ‘longer than I expected’ 

  • Aug 24, 2023 06:26 AM IST

    Mercenary leader, Russian mutineer, Putin’s chef: The many sides of Prigozhin

    Yevgeny Prigozhin’s fate has been entwined with the Kremlin for decades — as a trusted government contractor, and the head of the Wagner mercenary army that fought in Ukraine and has been blamed for doing Russia’s dirty work in Syria and Africa. Read more…

  • Aug 24, 2023 06:11 AM IST

    Embraer jet that crashed, reportedly carrying Prigozhin, had good safety record

    The Embraer executive jet that crashed in Russia, apparently with Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin onboard, has only recorded one accident in over 20 years of service, and that was due to mistakes by the crew rather than mechanical failure, according to website International Aviation HQ.

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