Russian media outlets reported that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner group involved in a rebellion against the Russian army in June, was listed as a passenger on a private Embraer Legacy plane that crashed. The aircraft was en route from Moscow to Saint Petersburg and went down near the village of Kuzhenkino in the Tver Region. Russia’s aviation agency, Rosaviatsia, confirmed Prigozhin’s presence on the flight, and multiple news agencies including TASS, RIA Novosti, and Interfax carried similar reports.
The tragic crash claimed the lives of all 10 individuals on board, including 3 crew members. The Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations initially reported the fatalities. Later, the ministry provided information that the plane, which was privately owned, had crashed and was conducting search operations in the vicinity of Kuzhenkino.
Unverified videos were shared on Telegram channels connected to Wagner, showing the wreckage of the burning aircraft in a field. In June, Prigozhin orchestrated a brief uprising against the Russian military, deploying a group of mercenaries who aimed to march from southern Russia to Moscow in an attempt to overthrow the military leadership. The rebellion was eventually resolved through negotiations mediated by Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, leading to an agreement that Prigozhin would relocate to Belarus with some of his followers.
Despite these developments, Prigozhin retained leadership of the Wagner group but maintained a low profile. Recently, a video circulated showing him in Africa, where he expressed intentions to promote greater freedom.