DEVELOPING STORYDEVELOPING STORY,
Russia’s civil aviation authority publishes names of seven passengers, together with Prigozhin and Wagner group commander Dmitry Utkin, who have been on board.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group that led a mutiny towards Russia’s military in June, was on board the aircraft that crashed in Russia, the nation’s civil aviation authority Rosaviatsia stated.
Rosaviatsia revealed the names of seven passengers, together with Prigozhin and Wagner group commander Dmitry Utkin, and three crew members it stated had been on board.
“There have been 10 folks on board, together with three crew members. In keeping with preliminary info, all these on board died,” Russia’s Ministry for Emergency Conditions stated shortly earlier than.
The Embraer plane, en route from Moscow to St Petersburg, was carrying seven passengers and three crew, TASS reported on Wednesday.
Daniel Hawkins, a journalist in Moscow, instructed Al Jazeera that “studies within the Russian media, unconfirmed up to now, are saying this plane may have been taken down by air defence methods”.
“Prigozhin was amongst these on board or was no less than listed as amongst these folks on board.
“Some journalists report they’re in contact together with his press secretary who’s refusing to verify that. A second jet was additionally within the air that’s circled and gone again to St Petersburg.”
Prigozhin led a short-lived armed insurrection towards the Russian management in June, posing the gravest problem ever to President Vladimir Putin’s two-decade grip on energy.
Prigozhin had his mercenaries occupy the Russian metropolis of Rostov-on-Don after which despatched army columns marching in the direction of Moscow.
He referred to as the Russian army management corrupt and incompetent. He had complained for months of insufficient munitions and provides for his fighters serving on the entrance strains of Putin’s conflict in Ukraine.
On the time, Putin described the revolt as “treason”.
However shortly earlier than his troops reached Moscow, Prigozhin ordered a retreat after negotiations with the Kremlin, during which Belarusian chief Alexander Lukashenko acted as mediator.
As a part of the deal reached to flee prosecution, Prigozhin and his Wagner fighters have been provided sanctuary in Belarus.
The potential demise of Prigozhin wouldn’t be a shock given his falling out with Putin, a senior White Home official stated.
“Now we have seen the studies” of the crash, Nationwide Safety Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson stated in a press release. “If confirmed, nobody ought to be stunned,” she stated. “The disastrous conflict in Ukraine led to a personal military marching on Moscow, and now – it could appear – to this.”
Consultants are nonetheless being cautious about whether or not Prigozhin was on the aircraft that crashed. However some have stated that whatever the end result, Prigozhin has been a marked man.
“We don’t know all the small print but, but when it seems that it’s what it appears to be, it’s completely no coincidence,” stated Colin Clarke of the Soufan Group, talking to Al Jazeera from Pittsburgh in the US.
“Ever because the mutiny in late June, during which he embarrassed [Russian President] Putin, he’s been a marked man. Many have been stunned it [his killing] didn’t occur immediately, however that is one thing that everyone thought was inevitable.”