Wagner financier and former Kremlin ally, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has been confirmed dead following a plane crash over Russian territory on Wednesday, according to Russian state authorities.
All 10 people onboard the ill-fated flight from Moscow to St. Petersburg have been confirmed dead through genetic testing, Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement on Sunday.
Russia’s civil aviation authority said on Wednesday that the plane carrying Prigozhin and his Wagner mercenary group lieutenant, Dmitry Utkin, had crashed at around 6 p.m. local time. The plane crashed near the village of Kuzhenkino, in Russia’s Tver region, and footage quickly emerged of the plane plummeting towards the ground, along with photos of the wreckage.
The crash happened two months to the day after Prigozhin led a short-lived armed rebellion against the Kremlin, with his forces seizing the southern city of Rostov-on-Don before marching towards the Russian capital.
The crash sparked rampant speculation over whether the notorious oligarch could have escaped the crash, or whether he could have faked his own death.
The Investigative Committee said on Friday that officials had retrieved 10 bodies from the crash site, and was carrying out genetic testing. Authorities had seized flight recorders and other, unspecified items from the site, it said in a statement.
This is a developing story and will be updated shortly with additional information.
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This story was originally published August 27, 2023, 7:18 AM.