Ukraine war – live: Wagner chief Prigozhin and co-founder ‘killed’ in Russia plane crash as Putin at concert

By Isaac M August 24, 2023

Wagner chief Prigozhin killed

Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin is reported to be among 10 people killed in a plane crash in Russia. Footage showed the flaming wreckage after a private jet came down near Moscow on Wednesday evening.

The plane carrying three pilots and seven passengers was travelling from Moscow to St Petersburg, according to officials cited by Russia’s state news agency Tass. Prigozhin was on the passenger list for the plane, Russia’s civil aviation authority said.

Mercenaries vowed to “avenge” the death of their leader and security forces in two Russian regions were put on alert due to the increased threat, The Times reported.

Prigozhin’s fate has been the subject of intense speculation ever since he mounted a short-lived mutiny against Russia’s military leadership in late June.

Russian president Vladimir Putin addressed a meeting of the BRIC countries on Thursday morning but neither he nor any other Kremlin officials have commented publicly on the plane crash.

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Where did plane crash?

The plane Prigozhin is reported to have been flying on was a private business jet – an Embraer Legacy 600, registration number 02795.

The aircraft is 26.3m long, has a wingspan of 21.1m and a top speed of 528mph. It has a range of nearly 4,000 miles can carry 13-14 passengers and usually has two crew members on board.

It crashed near the village of Kuzhenkino, northwest of Moscow, during a flight from Moscow to St Petersburg.

Matt Mathers24 August 2023 08:35

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Prigozhin laughs about death in video released by Wagner-linked channel and says ‘we’ll all go to hell’

This video shows Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin laughing about death as he states: “We’ll all go to hell”.

Lucy Leeson reports: The footage has been shared on a Telegram channel linked to the mercenary group, just hours after Prigozhin was feared to have died in a plane crash near Moscow.

“We will all go to hell, but we will be the best in hell,’ sums up Yevgeny Prigozhin,” the channel said in a post citing excerpts from an old interview.

Prigozhin can be seen laughing in the video while seated inside a low-lit makeshift tent and talking to some people. The time and location of the video is not known.

‘We’ll all go to hell’: Prigozhin laughs about death in unseen video

This video shows Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin laughing about death as he states: “We’ll all go to hell”. The footage has been shared on a Telegram channel linked to the mercenary group, just hours after Prigozhin was feared to have died in a plane crash near Moscow. “We will all go to hell, but we will be the best in hell,’ sums up Yevgeny Prigozhin,” the channel said in a post citing excerpts from an old interview. Prigozhin can be seen laughing in the video while seated inside a low-lit makeshift tent and talking to some people. The time and location of the video is not known.

Matt Mathers24 August 2023 12:00

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Putin’s thoughts on ‘betrayal’ resurface following Prigozhin’s plane crash

Footage resurfaced online of Vladimir Putin‘s opinion on “betrayal” following reports that Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner mercenary group, who was on board a plane that crashed in Russia on Wednesday.

The brief snippet has since made its rounds on X/Twitter)and is taken from a 2018 documentary based on the Russian president.

Putin’s thoughts on ‘betrayal’ resurface following Prigozhin’s plane crash

Footage resurfaced online of Vladimir Putin’s opinion on ‘betrayal’ following reports that Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner mercenary group, who was on board a plane that crashed in Russia on Wednesday.The brief snippet has since made its rounds on X/Twitter)and is taken from a 2018 documenta…

Matt Mathers24 August 2023 11:45

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Russian security forces on alert as Wagner mercenaries vow to avenge Prigozhin death

Wagner mercenaries have vowed to “avenge” the death of their leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, prompting officials to put security forces in two Russian regions on alert.

“We will avenge this,” a former Wagner mercenary told a Russian Telegram channel, The Times reported.  “March on the Kremlin! Kill all traitors from the Ministry of Defence!” one comment read.

Readovka, a Russian media outlet with links to Wagner, also reported that the group had planned for “full mobilisation” in the event of Prigozhin’s untimely death.

Moscow appears to be taking the threats seriously and security forces in Rostov-on-Don, the city that was briefly seized by Wagner in June, as well as the Belgorod region near Ukraine have been put on alert, reports said.

Men hang a flag of ‘PMC Wagner’ at an informal memorial next to the former ‘PMC Wagner Centre’ in St Petersburg, Russia

(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Matt Mathers24 August 2023 11:30

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Norway donates missiles to Ukraine

Norway will send anti-aircraft missiles and mine clearing equipment to Ukraine and help the war-torn country secure its gas and power supply, Norwegian prime minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said on Thursday while on a visit to Kyiv.

The donation includes IRIS-T missiles, portable kits for creating corridors through minefields and equipment used to repair critical electricity infrastructure, the Norwegian government said in a statement.

“Support with air defence has been decisive in preventing Russia from taking control of the airspace, and has thus averted great civilian suffering and military losses,” the statement said.

The missiles can be launched from Sweden-donated units, it added.

(Torstein Bøe / NTB)

Matt Mathers24 August 2023 11:15

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Flight tracking data shows plane’s route before crashing

Flight data shows the path taken by the plane reported to have been carrying Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin before it crashed, killing all those on board.

Russia’s civil aviation authority said that Prigozhin, who led a failed coup against the Kremlin two months ago, was one of 10 people on board when the aircraft came down near the village of Kuzhenkino, northwest of the capital, Moscow on Wednesday.

Flight data shows the plane was first tracked northwest of Moscow at an altitude of 12,275ft. It continued travelling northwest and was last tracked northwest of the Tver region at 28,000.

The plane, an Embraer Legacy 600, registration number 02795, then crashed some time later near the village of Kuzhenkino, northwest of Moscow, during a flight from Moscow to St Petersburg.

Matt Mathers24 August 2023 11:00

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Prigozhin has made plenty of enemies – including Putin. This is the result

Reports of the Wagner founder being in a deadly jet crash should suprise nobody in the wake of his failed mutiny against the Russian president. Kim Sengupta speaks to Ukranian troops fighting against Moscow’s forces in eastern Donbas – who believe it would mark a fitting end.

Read Kim’s full piece below:

Matt Mathers24 August 2023 10:45

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Prigozhin’s death good news for Ukraine – adviser to defence minister

Prigozhin’s reported death is a positive for Ukraine, an adviser to the country’s defence minister has said.

“One less terrorist means more instability in Russia,” Yuri Sak told Radio 4’s Today programme earlier.

“It’s again another sign of Russia becoming a failed state which is run by a terrorist who is afraid of his own people.”

He added: “And from where we see it, whatever makes Russia weak makes us stronger.”

Prigozhin reported to have been on board plane when it crashed

(AP/AFP)

Matt Mathers24 August 2023 10:28

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Prigozhin likely ‘taken out’ by Putin – former MI6 chief

“All indications” suggest Wagner mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin was “taken out” by Vladimir Putin, the former MI6 Chief said, Zander Butler reports.

Sir John Sawers, 68, who served as Chief of the MI6 between 2009 and 2014, said Putin had “reasserted his control” and was making it clear to Russians he wasn’t going to “brook any challenge”.

It comes as Prigozhin, who launched a coup against Putin in June, was presumed dead after he was named as a passenger on a private jet that crashed north of Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Sir John said: “All the indications point to the fact Putin has taken him out. He has reasserted his control.

“He’s making clear to everyone inside and outside of Russia that he’s not going to brook any challenge. If there’s a slim chance that he’s not dead and he wasn’t on that plane, he will be soon.”

Sir John Sawers, former head of MI6

Matt Mathers24 August 2023 10:12

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Who is Yevgeny Prigozhin?

Once a businessman with a catering empire, Yevgeny Prigozhin manoeuvred himself into a position so powerful that as Russia’s war in Ukraine progressed, he could openly question his ally’s strategy.

The owner of the Kremlin-allied Wagner Group, the mercenary force that has fought some of the Russian military’s toughest battles in Ukraine – most notably the drawn-out pursuit of Bakhmut – this summer the 62-year-old stepped into his most dangerous role yet: preaching open rebellion against his country’s military leadership.

Ellen Knickmeyer, Joe Sommerlad and Jane Dalton take a closer look at the man dominating the headlines:

Matt Mathers24 August 2023 09:56

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