Prigozhin Presumed Dead After Wagner-Linked Media Confirms He Was on Crashed Jet

Prigozhin Presumed Dead

Prigozhin Presumed Dead “This crash might not have been a tragic accident,” stated Juri Rescheto, the head of DW’s Russia bureau. “It became highly significant for the Kremlin. It became so powerful that it was extremely uncomfortable and dared to publicly and strongly challenge the sense of war in Ukraine.”

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner Group of mercenaries, was aboard a professional jet that crashed in Russia on Wednesday, as reported by media linked to Wagner. Russian aviation authorities also confirmed that Prigozhin was on the flight.

All 10 individuals on board the aircraft, including three crew members, were killed in the crash. Eight bodies were found at the crash site after initial investigations, according to the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

“According to the airline, the following passengers were on the Embraer – 135 (EBM-135BJ) aircraft:… Prigozhin, Yevgeny,” said Rosaviatsia, the Russian civil aviation authority.

Rosaviatsia also mentioned that Dmitry Utkin, an associate of Prigozhin and a shadowy figure managing Wagner’s operations, was also traveling on the plane with Wagner’s leader.

The Telegram channel Grey Zone, associated with Wagner, confirmed Prigozhin’s death, calling him a hero and patriot. The post also alleged that he died at the hands of unknown individuals referred to as “traitors of Russia.”

“An investigation into the plane crash of the Embraer that happened tonight in the Tver region has been initiated. According to the passenger list, among them is the name of Yevgeny Prigozhin,” said Rosaviatsia, the Russian civil aviation authority, regarding the aircraft crash.

The aircraft was reportedly operating the route from Moscow to Saint Petersburg when it crashed near the village of Kuzenkino in Tver, a region over 100 kilometers north of the Russian capital.

The Embraer jet model had only experienced one accident in over 20 years of service, and that wasn’t related to mechanical failure.

“This crash might not have been a tragic accident,” stated Juri Rescheto, the head of DW’s Russia bureau. “It became highly significant for the Kremlin. It became so powerful that it was extremely uncomfortable and dared to publicly and strongly challenge the sense of war in Ukraine.”

“If Prigozhin’s death is confirmed, I can imagine that the Wagner group will no longer exist as a fighting force,” added Rescheto.

Questions have arisen about Prigozhin’s whereabouts since he led his mercenary forces in a short-lived insurgency against Moscow on June 23rd.

A video, according to Prigozhin’s claims, was released just two days ago on Telegram, showing him in Africa. It would have been his first video since the abandoned insurgency.

Prigozhin Presumed Dead
Prigozhin Presumed Dead

White House: Prigozhin’s death ‘no surprise’

  • The White House also acknowledged the news, and President Joe Biden candidly addressed the matter with reporters as he left a gym while on vacation.
  • “I don’t know what happened, but I’m not surprised,” Biden said, adding, “There’s not much happening in Russia that Putin isn’t behind. But I don’t know enough to know the answer.”
  • Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the President of Ukraine, responded on the X social media platform, formerly known as Twitter, stating that it was “obvious” Putin would make an example out of Prigozhin.
  • “The blatant elimination of Prigozhin and the Wagner leadership two months after the coup attempt is a message from Putin to the Russian elites ahead of the 2024 elections,” added Podolyak.
  • Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said on the state news channel TVP Info that Prigozhin’s death couldn’t be accidental. “It happens that the political opponents whom Vladimir Putin considers a threat to his power don’t die naturally,” he added.
  • “If true, it shows that Putin will eliminate opponents, and that terrifies anyone thinking of expressing an opinion different from his,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said on CNN.

Who is Yevgeny Prigozhin?

The Wagner forces participated in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, playing a crucial role in the battle for Bachmut. However, disagreements between the mercenary group and the official Russian military emerged until Prigozhin decided to withdraw his troops from Ukraine and head to Moscow, capturing Rostov-on-Don in the process.

The 62-year-old had been openly critical of Russia’s military leadership in the previous months, verbally attacking Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov. He complained about the lack of supplies for his forces and eventually claimed that Russian forces had fired on Wagner mercenaries.

The uprising was quelled after negotiations mediated by Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, with an agreement that Wagner’s leader would go to Belarus with his forces. However, conflicting reports suggested he left Belarus shortly thereafter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin characterized Prigozhin’s actions as “betrayal” in a public speech delivered just hours after the Wagner forces began their march.

Before this, Prigozhin had been a key ally of Putin, having once served as his private caterer. He used his position to launch numerous enterprises, including the Wagner Group.

His open defiance towards the Kremlin and the Russian president was one of the most significant since Putin first came to power over 20 years ago.”


1. Who was Yevgeny Prigozhin and what was his role in the Wagner group?

Yevgeny Prigozhin was the founder of the Wagner Group, a private military company known for its involvement in conflicts such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He was also a key ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and had previously served as Putin’s personal butler.

2. What happened in the plane crash involving Yevgeny Prigozhin?

Yevgeny Prigozhin was aboard a business jet that crashed in Russia. All 10 people on board, including Prigozhin, were killed in the crash. The crash has raised questions about its cause and the circumstances surrounding it.

3. What is the significance of Prigozhin’s death for the Kremlin?

Juri Rescheto, DW’s Russia bureau chief, argued that the crash may not have been a simple accident. He believed that Prigozhin had become a powerful and uncomfortable figure, challenging the Kremlin’s narrative of the war in Ukraine. His death could have wider implications for the political landscape.

4. How did international leaders react to Prigozhin’s death?

Leaders from various countries, including the White House, reacted to Prigozhin’s death. President Joe Biden acknowledged the news, while others saw it as a move by Putin to eliminate political rivals and strengthen his power.

5. What was the role of the Wagner Group in the Ukraine conflict?

The Wagner Group, a private military company, played a major role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, particularly in the Battle of Bakhmut. He had ties to Yevgeny Prigozhin and was involved in various conflicts beyond Ukraine.


The mysterious plane crash that claimed the life of Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner Group and a controversial figure in Russia, left many questions unanswered. His death raises suspicions because of his visibility and the timing of the crash.

The incident also sparked debate about the impact on Russia’s political landscape, given Prigozhin’s history of open defiance and involvement in conflicts both inside and outside of Russia.

As investigations continue into the crash, international observers are watching closely for any signs of how this event could affect Russia’s domestic dynamics and its stance on global conflicts. The significance of Prigozhin’s death is likely to reverberate not only in the realm of Russian politics but also in the wider context of international relations.

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