Private aircraft belonging to the founder of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, crashed near the village of Kuzhenkino in the Bologovsky district of the Tver region on the evening of August 23rd.
According to Russian media reports, the aircraft was carrying commander of Wagner PMC.
The village where the crash occurred is located 50 kilometers from Russian President Vladimir Putin's residence in Valday. The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry confirmed that 10 people were killed in the crash, including three members of the crew. It is also reported that the bodies of eight individuals have been found.
Sources from the Russian news outlet Fontanka and Russian journalist Ksenia Sobchak have stated that Prigozhin was aboard the plane that crashed.
Vladimir Rogov, representative of the Russia-installed administration in the Zaporizhia region, stated that Wagner mercenaries confirmed to him the deaths of Prigozhin and his deputy Dmitry Utkin, who used the nom de guerre "Wagner".
However, the Telegram channel Grey Zone, close to Wagner, claims that the aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire. Eyewitnesses claim that the plane exploded in the air. The telegram channel Mash reports that before the crash, witnesses heard two loud "bangs". The plane then lost its wing and stabilizer. According to one version, the explosion was caused by a terrorist act on board, as reported by the Telegram channel Baza. There is no official confirmation of this information.
According to air traffic monitoring service FlightRadar , the aircraft disappeared from radar during its ascent. Military expert Yuri Fedorov, in a conversation with the news outlet Agentsvo, noted that the trajectory of the plane's descent (captured on video) may indicate an explosion aboard. He expressed doubt about the anti-aircraft fire version, as there is no trace of missiles in the footage.