Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin killed in plane crash, Putin tightlipped

Moscow: Wagner mercenary group’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, who stage a failed mutiny against Russia’s military leaders, died in a plane crash in Tver region in Moscow, and a probe has been initiated into the incident, Federal Agency for Air Transport said.

The incident occurred on Wednesday evening when the aircraft, owned by Prigozhin, was flying from Moscow to St Petersburg with seven passengers and three crew, BBC reported.

All ten bodies have been recovered and a criminal investigation has been launched.

The ill-fated aircraft Embraer Legacy caught fire on hitting the ground and was reportedly in the air for less than half an hour.

A Wagner linked Telegram channel ‘Grey Zone’ reported Prigozhin’s death, saying he was “killed as a result of actions by traitors of Russia”

Prigozhin was a key ally of Russia President Vladimir Putin but their relationship soured after the Wagner chief staged mutiny against country’s military leaders.

Charges against Prigozhin were dropped under a deal that he will end the rebellion and relocate to Belarus.

President Putin, who spoke at the BRICS summit in South Africa via video-link on Thursday, did not mention Prigozhin or the plane crash.

Though the Kremlin is yet to confirm whether the Wagner chief died in the plane crash, aviation officials said he was one of the passengers on board.

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