Few Medium readers will be surprised at this, but Yevgeny Prighozin, chief of the rebellious Wagner Group, was among seven passengers killed in a place crash north of Moscow.
The flight, which was enroute to Saint Petersburg, was on a private jet that crashed in the Tver region.
Media channels quickly suggested that Russian air defences had shot down the plane.
Several Russian news agencies, including Baza, which is close to Russian law enforcement, said the seven passengers and three crew onboard the jet were all killed.
Mash, a news outlet on social media app Telegram, said locals had heard two loud bangs before the crash. However, Mash also reported that security services were investigating the possibility of a “terrorist attack on board” as another potential cause of the blast.
Prigozhin released a video earlier this week in which he claimed to be in Africa. It was unclear when it was taken and if he had returned to Russia since it was shot.
“An investigation of the Embraer plane crash that happened in the Tver Region this evening was initiated,” the Federal Agency for Air Transport of Russia said in a statement.
Russia’s Investigative Committee, a top law enforcement body, announced the opening of a case on the plane crash, on suspicion of a violation of air transport safety rules. It said investigators had been dispatched to the site of the crash.
This is indicative of two things:
- They knew the plane crash was coming and were all ready to launch an investigation; and
- They are blaming the victim for his own death.
Both would be characteristic of Putin’s style. Clumsy, open and vindictive to the end.
My only question is: why didn’t Prigozhin see this coming and hide somewhere? He knew what Putin would do, better than anyone.
I can only surmise that his family might have been in danger…but he led an entire mutiny that put them at risk, so family does not seem…