Russian state media reported Wednesday that Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner PMC, was on the passenger list of a private plan that crashed north of Moscow.
Seven passengers and three crew were on board the Embraer aircraft, which was en route from Moscow to St Petersburg, according to Russian news agency TASS.
The jet was reported to have crashed in the Tver region, north of Moscow.
Prrigozhin was last seen publicly in a video posted Monday in which he claimed to be in Africa.
It was the first video from Prigozhin since July, when he posted a nighttime video appearing to welcome his fighters to Belarus. That was following Wagner’s brief uprising against Russian military brass, which began on Friday, June 23 when Prigozhin marched his columns of mercenaries into the Russian city of Rostov near Ukraine’s front lines. Prigozhin said his fighters “blockaded” the town “without firing a single shot.”
It ended the next day, after that deal between Prigozhin and Russian President Vladimir Putin was struck by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, which stipulated that Prigozhin’s mercenaries would receive immunity, and that charges brought against Prigozhin himself would be dropped, once he turned his columns away from their subsequent march toward Moscow. Before turning back, some 8,000 of Prigozhin’s mercenaries had come within 125 kilometers of the capital city.