Yevgeny Prigozhin, the chief of Russian mercenary group Wagner, was listed among passengers on board a plane that crashed north of Moscow, according to Russian state media.
The official Russian news agency TASS said the Federal Air Transport Agency has launched an investigation into the crash of an Embraer aircraft, which occurred in the Tver region north-east of Moscow on Wednesday.
“An investigation has been launched into the crash of the Embraer aircraft, which occurred tonight in the Tver region. According to the list of passengers, among them is the name and surname of Yevgeny Prigozhin,” the department noted.
Flight data shows an Embraer Legacy registered to Prigozhin at a cruising altitude over the Tver region after departing a Moscow airport, before data transmission of speed and altitude stops.
The crash comes months after Prigozhin launched an abortive mutiny against Russia’s military leadership, posing an unprecedented challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s authority before it was suddenly called off in a deal that required Prigozhin and his fighters to relocate to Belarus.
Wagner forces were heavily involved in capturing the eastern Ukrainian cities of Soledar and Bakhmut following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Prigozhin then spent months criticizing Russian military leadership and the support it was giving his troops before he called for the armed rebellion.
This is a breaking story. More to come