West News Wire: According to Russian civil aviation officials, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner organisation that attempted to overthrow President Vladimir Putin in June, was on the plane that crashed in Russia and had no survivors.
There have been numerous reports of Prigozhin’s death in state-run media in Russia. The mercenary leader has been declared deceased, according to the Wagner-affiliated Grey Zone Telegram group.
Additionally, Wagner group commander Dmitry Utkin was on board, according to Russian civil aviation officials.
Three crew members were among the 10 passengers who perished in the disaster, according to the emergency ministry of Russia, reported the official state newswire RIA Novosti.
Without going into greater detail, officials stated that a man by the name of Prigozhin was one of the travellers.
Later, a spokesman of the emergency services told RIA Novosti that eight dead had been discovered at the crash scene. It also stated that rescue and search efforts are still going on there.
An aircraft was shot down by air defences in the Tver region, around 95 km north of Moscow, according to earlier reports on the Wagner-affiliated Grey Zone Telegram group.
On social media, numerous videos that appeared to document the jet crash were posted.
According to Reuters, the White House confirmed that President Joe Biden had received a briefing on the jet crash.
We are aware of the reports. Nobody should be shocked if it is proven, according to US national security spokesperson Adrienne Watson.
Alicia Kearns, who chairs the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, went to Twitter, now called X, to say that the news shows Putin is sending a “very loud” message.
“The speed at which the Russian Govt has confirmed Yevgeny Prigozhin was on a plane that crashed on a flight from Moscow to St Petersburg should tell us everything we need to know,” Kearns said.
The Wagner Group, which Moscow has sent to several nations, most recently took part in the conflict in Ukraine.
Since 2015, when its mercenaries were sent to fight alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s army, it has had a military presence in Syria.
The group has also played a significant role in Libya, aiding warlord Khalifa Haftar in seizing control of the country’s southern and eastern parts.
The organisation is thought to be primarily involved in security operations in Sudan to guard valuable goldmines and other resources.
Among other African nations, Wagner also works in Mozambique, Madagascar, Mali, and the Central African Republic.
The mercenary gang turned against the military authority of Russia on June 23, and they started marching from Ukraine to Moscow.
The next day, a deal was struck that allowed Prigozhin to safely travel to Belarus in return for ending the mutiny. it was previously reported that the Russian government was having difficulties with taking control of the company, which has a spider network of troops and operatives in multiple countries.