The bodies of eight victims have been found at the crash site of an Embraer private jet in Russia’s Tver Region, according to a report by state-run news outlet RIA Novosti citing Russia’s emergency services. Because of severe burns, DNA tests might be needed to identify the bodies, says Telegram channel Baza. Search and rescue operations continue.
The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations earlier reported that ten people were on board the private plane. Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) claimed that the list of passengers included Yevgeny Prigozhin, according to a report by government-run news agency TASS.
An Embraer Legacy 600 business jet with the tail number RA-02795 crashed in Russia’s Tver Region on August 23. The Telegram channel Grey Zone, which has ties to the Wagner Private Military Company (PMC), reported that the plane belonged to the organization’s leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, and was shot down by Russian air defense systems in the region’s Bologovsky District.
On June 25, 2023, Prigozhin declared a military mutiny against the Russian authorities. During the mutiny, the PMC’s mercenaries shot down a Russian army airplane and six helicopters. Although the official count of casualties was not disclosed, reports suggest at least 13 military personnel were killed. The surprise mutiny caught Russian military and security forces off guard — not only did they fail to intercept the group, but they also actively resisted supporting Putin, essentially defying orders from higher-ups.
After the Wagner leader abandoned the plan to advance towards Moscow and agreed to “go to Belarus” following a conversation with Alexander Lukashenko, a source within Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU, informed The Insider that the threat to Prigozhin still persisted.
“During the rebellion, it was difficult for Putin to kill Prigozhin simply because he didn’t have enough political capital to easily deal with a man who had gained a certain level of popularity due to his rhetoric as a ‘truth-seeker.’ [as confirmed by sociological data — The Insider] But after some time has passed, Putin may well punish Prigozhin in order to send a signal to the rest. So if I were him, I would not go out onto the balcony in the near future, lest I accidentally fall off.”