February 29, 2024

Wagner Group chief was amongst seven passengers, all linked to his mercenary group

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Russia’s civil aviation company has confirmed that Wagner Group mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, who led a quick armed revolt in opposition to the Russian army this yr, was aboard a personal jet that crashed north of Moscow on Wednesday, killing all 10 folks on board. Right here’s what else we all know in regards to the crash and people concerned.

The place and when did the airplane crash?

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The plane crashed a couple of mile south of a Russian city referred to as Kuzhenkino, The Washington Publish reported, citing geolocated movies. Kuzhenkino is about 360 km northwest of Moscow.

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Flightradar24, an aviation knowledge service, stated it obtained knowledge from the plane beginning at 5:46 p.m. native time. The plane dropped off radar at 6:11 p.m. At about the identical time, an unverified video on social media confirmed a airplane resembling a personal jet falling out of the sky.

What sort of airplane was it?

The plane was an Embraer Legacy 600, manufactured by Embraer S.A., a Brazil-based aerospace company. It was launched in 2000 at Britain’s Farnborough Airshow, and may carry 13 passengers at altitudes of 41,000 toes or 12,000 metres.

The actual craft, tail quantity RA-02795, was manufactured in 2007. The Legacy 600 ceased manufacturing in 2020. Embraer stated it had not been offering help providers for the jet since 2019, resulting from worldwide sanctions in opposition to Russia.

Had the airplane ever had an accident earlier than?

There is just one recorded accident involving a Legacy 600, in response to Worldwide Aviation HQ, which occurred in 2006 when one of many planes crashed right into a Boeing 737-800 passenger jet. The Boeing crashed, killing all 154 passengers and crew. The Legacy landed with out accidents to its seven occupants. A Brazilian Air Pressure report blamed two U.S. pilots on the Boeing, site visitors controllers and defective communications for the collision.

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Who was onboard?

There have been 10 folks on the airplane, in response to aviation authorities. That determine contains three crew members: two pilots, Aleksei Levshin and Rustam Karimov; and a flight attendant, Kristina Raspopova.

In accordance with the flight manifest, the seven passengers included Prigozhin and two of his shut associates, Valeriy Chekalov and Dmitry Utkin, who has been known as Prigozhin’s right-hand man.

Three of the opposite passengers had been additionally concerned with the Wagner Group, in response to the File Centre, a Russian investigative group. The centre stated the identify of a fourth man, Nikolay Mastuseev, couldn’t be discovered on Wagner rosters, however {that a} man named Nikolai Matusevich was listed as a Wagner member.

Has Vladimir Putin responded to the crash?

The Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences for many who had been aboard the jet, together with Prigozhin. He made the remarks whereas talking with the Russian-installed chief of Ukraine’s partially occupied Donetsk area, Denis Pushilin, in a televised interview.

The crash was broadly seen as an assassination. Putin has a historical past of being linked to the suspicious deaths of Russian dissidents who’ve criticized his rule.

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What was Putin’s beef with Prigozhin?

In June, Prigozhin led a mutiny in opposition to the Russian army, expressing frustration with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu for allegedly offering Wagner Group forces in Ukraine with inadequate provides and finishing up an assault in opposition to his troops. The Russian Defence Ministry denied the accusations.

Prigozhin’s forces briefly occupied a Russian metropolis that hosted the headquarters of a Russian command vital to the battle in Ukraine. Wagner troops then marched on Moscow, earlier than reversing their advance. With out naming Prigozhin, Putin stated the rebels had been “traitors.”

What occurred after the mutiny?

Beneath a deal that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claimed credit score for, Prigozhin agreed to name off the mutiny in change for pardons and the flexibility to relocate his fighters to Belarus. Afterward, he largely disappeared from the general public eye. He was noticed in his hometown of St. Petersburg attending a Russia-Africa summit, whereas a blurry video appeared to point out him instructing his troops of their new base in Belarus.

On Monday, Telegram accounts affiliated with the Wagner Group posted his first video deal with because the June mutiny, during which he indicated that he could be refocusing his efforts on Africa.

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