Ten bodies and the two flight recorders were found at the site of the crash of the Embraer Legacy 600 near Moscow, where the head of Wagner’s private military group, Yevgeny Prigozhinis presumed dead.
“The bodies of 10 victims were found at the site of the plane crash. Molecular genetic analyzes are underway to establish their identity. The flight recorders have been seized by investigators and a detailed examination of the scene is underway.”the Russian Investigative Committee said on Telegram.
The pictures of crash, published by Russian state media RIA Novosti, appear to show the moments before a private plane allegedly carrying mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin crashed into a field northwest of Moscow, while heading towards Saint PETERSBOURG. A plane can be seen falling, a trail of smoke or vapor extending behind it, rapidly descending against a bright blue sky. The person filming the video zooms in as the plane spirals uncontrollably, revealing it is missing a wing.
A passenger manifesto released by Russia’s civil aviation agency Rosaviatsia on Wednesday showed that Prigozhin’s name and that of Wagner’s commander-in-chief, Dmitry Utkin, were among the seven passengers and three crew members who , according to the Russian Ministry of Emergency Services, had all been killed.
Rosaviatsia said it had opened an investigation into “the circumstances and causes of the accident”. The commission of inquiry has also launched a criminal investigation. The causes of the crash are the subject of all speculation, in particular on a bomb attack or a missile launch. Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised “carry out in its entirety and come to a conclusion”.
The business jet, a Legacy 600, is derived from the Embraerl ERJ 135 regional jet from which it inherits the technical characteristics. While Embraer has indicated that it has “complyed with international sanctions imposed on Russia”, preventing Western aircraft manufacturers from supplying parts or support to aircraft operated in Russia, the Legacy 600 has 300 aircraft in flight in 2023 and has a very good safety record.
The last seconds before the crash in video: