Prigozhin Listed as Passenger In Plane Crash

Yevgeny Prigozhin
Yevgeny Prigozhin | Image by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

2:20 p.m. Wednesday update

The White House National Security Council said it was aware of the crash reports involving Yevgeny Prigozhin in Russia.

“If confirmed, no one should be surprised,” said a spokeswoman, Adrienne Watson, said on X, formerly Twitter. “The disastrous war in Ukraine led to a private army marching on Moscow, and now — it would seem — to this.”

Meanwhile, another Russian media outlet, Sirena, reminded readers that Prigozhin was declared in dead in a previous plane crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2019. The report turned out to be mistaken.

1 p.m. Wednesday

The founder of the Wagner mercenary group who led a mutiny against Russian President Vladimir Putin in June was listed as a passenger on a plane that crashed on Wednesday and killed all 10 people on board.

Video posted on the messaging platform Telegram appears to show the aircraft on fire, reportedly with Yevgeny Prigozhin on board.

“An investigation of the Embraer plane crash that happened in the Tver Region this evening was initiated,” the Federal Agency for Air Transport of Russia said in a statement, according to the state news agency Tass. “According to the passenger list, first and last name of Yevgeny Prigozhin was included in this list.”

Social media channels said Russian air defenses shot down the jet, The Wall Street Journal reported.

U.S. officials in Washington said they could not confirm the Russian reports that Prigozhin was aboard the plane.

Readovka, an account on the Telegram app that is known to be close to the Russian authorities, said that reports of Mr. Prigozhin’s death were “premature,” and that “Yevgeny Prigozhin may have been on a different airplane.”

CIA Director William Burns last month predicted that Putin would seek revenge for Wagner’s mutiny.

“Putin is the ultimate apostle of payback,” Burns said at the time. “If I were Prigozhin, I wouldn’t fire my food taster.”

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