Leader of Wagner Group, Involved in Failed Putin Coup, Dies in Mysterious Plane Crash
Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, known for attempting a coup against Russian president Vladimir Putin in June, reportedly met his end in a tragic plane crash. According to Rosaviatsia, the Russian civil aviation authority, Prigozhin was listed as a passenger on the ill-fated flight, which was traveling from Moscow to St Petersburg. The crash claimed the lives of all 10 individuals on board, including three crew members, as confirmed by Russia's emergency ministry and RIA Novosti, the state news agency. Although officials mentioned Prigozhin's presence on the passenger list, additional details about his involvement in the flight remain unclear.
Prigozhin's notoriety stems from his attempt to overthrow President Putin earlier this year. Following the failed coup, he was to be exiled to Belarus, with his fighters either retiring, accompanying him, or joining the Russian military. His private military group, Wagner, had also collaborated with Russia's regular army in Ukraine. The plane crash in the Tver region prompted investigations, with speculation arising about the cause of the crash, including unconfirmed reports that the aircraft might have been shot down by air defenses. While some media outlets suggested the plane belonged to Prigozhin himself, concrete evidence regarding his presence on the flight awaited clarification from Rosaviatsia.
The death of Yevgeny Prigozhin, a figure known for his rebellion against Putin and his involvement in various military endeavors, marks a significant development in the ongoing narrative surrounding Russian politics and security.