Putin Breaks Silence Over Prigozhin Plane Crash

Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken for the first time about Wednesday’s plane crash.

He sends his condolences to the families of the dead, and describes Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin as a talented businessman.
He described the Wagner boss as a “talented businessman”.

He said Prigozhin “made serious mistakes in life, but also sought to achieve the necessary results”.

Authorities say all 10 people on the plane were killed when it crashed near Moscow – and that passengers included Prigozhin and his right-hand man Dmitry Utkin.

Putin also says that “as far as I’m aware”, Prigozhin “only yesterday [Wednesday] returned from Africa. He met certain official persons there”.

Read: Who is Yevgeny Prigozhin: From Putin’s Chef to Rebel in Chief

In recent days the Wagner boss is believed to have been present in West Africa – where Western analysts fear the group was seeking to widen its reach into other countries, including Niger, where a coup has just taken place.

Wagner is a key pillar of Russian foreign policy, with its forces helping to prop up governments in Syria, Mali, the Central African Republic and Libya in exchange for lucrative mining rights.

There’s continued speculation about what happened. UK defence sources tell the BBC that Russia’s FSB intelligence agency is most likely to be responsible.

The Wagner mercenary group was very active in Ukraine, until Prigozhin led a short-lived mutiny against the Russian military leadership in June – which Putin called “treachery” at the time.

According to Russian channels on Telegram (a popular social messaging platform), the plane was an Embraer Legacy jet, with the serial number RA-02795, which is linked to the Wagner boss.

Read Also: Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin Killed in Plane Crash in Russia

BBC Verify has examined the plane’s flight tracking data via the FlightRadar24 website. While the data does not show where the flight departed from, the plane did appear to travel close to Moscow.

After it climbed to nearly 29,000ft, no further data was recorded.

Flight records show the same plane made several journeys to and from Moscow and St Petersburg in recent months. It has also been pictured by local media in Belarus, where Wagner is now thought to be based.

However, there has also been speculation on Telegram that Prigozhin may have been on a different flight altogether.

This other jet has a registration number RA-02748.

Read Also: Wagner Chief Prigozhin Seen in First Video Address Since Coup Attempt

While the plane’s flight records are partially inaccessible, it appears this plane departed from St Petersburg earlier on Wednesday and flew towards Moscow.

The trail disappears near Ostafyevo airport in the Russian capital.

Email your news TIPS to or WhatsApp +254707482874

Email your news TIPS to or WhatsApp +254707482874

Written by KahawaTungu Reporter


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