Some of this cannot be confirmed, so keep that in mind. For example, the flight attendant’s story, but it came from a usually good source so I included it.
American and other Western officials said an explosion on a plane believed to be carrying the Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny V. Prigozhin likely brought down the aircraft on Wednesday, killing all the passengers aboard, based on preliminary intelligence reports.
A definitive conclusion has not been reached, but an explosion is the leading theory of what caused the plane to crash in a field between Moscow and St. Petersburg. The explosion could have been caused by a bomb or other device planted on the aircraft, though other theories, like adulterated fuel, are also being explored, the officials said.
Flight Attendant on Prigozhin’s Jet Reported ‘Strange’ Repairs Before Crash
A flight attendant who was on board Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private jet when it crashed Wednesday had phoned relatives to say the flight was delayed due to some “strange” repairs, according to a report. Kristina Raspopova was among the 10 people killed when the aircraft plummeted to the ground in Russia’s Tver region.
A family member of the 39-year-old told the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel that Raspopova said the Embraer jet had been taken away for some kind of “incomprehensible” servicing or repairs ahead of the flight. Another source quoted by the channel, however, insisted the jet was constantly under supervision, making it impossible for anyone to have “planted” anything on it. Russian investigators are now focusing on the theory that the jet was brought down by bombs on board, according to multiple reports.
THE DAILY BEAST
Wagner Soldiers Send Chilling Warning After Reports of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Death
Wagner soldiers reportedly in Belarus have responded to reports of their leader Yevgeny Prigozhin’s death in a plane crash over Russia with a grim warning: “There’s a lot of talk right now about what the Wagner Group will do. We can tell you one thing. We are getting started, get ready for us,” the soldiers said in a translated video. It is unclear who they were directing their message to.
The video—which has not been officially verified—appeared on social media after the Russian federal aviation agency Rosaviatsiya confirmed on Wednesday that Prigozhin was aboard an Embraer business jet that crashed in the Tver Region of Russia. Three soldiers appear in the video, with their faces covered.
The Independent also reported a Telegram channel linked to the Wagner Group published a series of Prigozhin’s own comments on his “inevitable” death at the hands of “traitors to Russia.”
THE DAILY BEAST
PUTIN SENDS HIS CONDOLENCES
“As for the aviation tragedy, first of all, I want to express my sincerest condolences to the families of all the victims,” Putin said in an on-camera address, adding that Wagner Group made a “significant contribution to our common cause of fighting the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine.”
“I knew (Yevgeny) Prigozhin for a very long time, since the early 1990s. He was a man with a complex destiny, and he made serious mistakes in life,” Putin said. “He achieved the results he needed both for himself and, when I asked him, for the common cause, as in these last months.”
He added on the investigation, “But what is absolutely clear – the head of the Investigative Committee reported to me this morning, they have already launched a preliminary investigation into this incident. And it will be carried out in full and to the end. There is no doubt about that here. Let’s see what the investigators say in the near future. Tests — technical and genetic tests — are being carried out now. This takes some time.”