MOSCOW (Reuters) – A plane carrying 10 people crashed in Russia on Wednesday without leaving any survivors, and the leader of the paramilitary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was on the passenger list, Russian news agencies said.
According to RIA Novosti, TASS and Interfax agencies, in reference to the Russian air transport agency Rosaviatsia, the name of Yevgeny Prigozhin appears on the passenger list of this plane that was to link Moscow to St. Petersburg.
“There were 10 people on board, including 3 crew members. According to preliminary information, all the people on board died,” Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations noted shortly earlier in a telegram.
According to him, the private Embraer Legacy plane crashed near the village of Kozhinkino, in the Tver region, northwest of Moscow.
“The Russian Emergencies Ministry is conducting searches,” he added.
And broadcast videos that AFP could not authenticate on several Telegram channels claiming to be linked to Wagner, showing burning debris in a field or a device falling from the sky.
Yevgeny Prigozhin was behind a revolt in June against the Russian General Staff and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, led by his men, who briefly seized military outposts in southern Russia before going on to Moscow.
Mr. Prigozhin quickly abandoned this rebellion, in the midst of the conflict in Ukraine. It ended on the evening of 24 June with an agreement that Mr. Prigozhny would leave for Belarus, while his fighters could join him there, join the regular Russian army or return to civilian life.
On Monday evening, Prigozhin appeared in a video posted on social media by groups close to Wagner, in which he claimed to be in Africa.
In a desert area, he said he was working to “make Russia bigger on all continents and Africa freer”.
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”