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Explosives in Prigozhin's plane are probably planted in landing gear compartment - media

24 August, 2023 Thursday
18:16

According to one version, an explosive device was planted in the landing gear of the plane carrying Wagner PMC leader Yevgeny Prigozhin. As a result, a wing was torn off

This was reported by the Russian Telegram channels Shot and Meduza.

"The explosive depressurization caused everyone on board to instantly lose consciousness, so the pilots were unable to report the emergency. In any case, without the wing and stabilizer, it was not possible to save the ship," the statement says. 

According to one version, the first suspect, Artem Stepanov, Prigozhin's personal pilot and former founder of the company that owns the MNT Aero jetliner, was involved in the case. He had access to the plane and is wanted by law enforcement. Stepanov reportedly left for Kamchatka before the plane crashed. His brother said that he had been hiking for three days and was out of touch. In addition, the nominal owner of MNT Aero, Olga Gubareva, and Stepanov's business partner, Kirill Shcherbakov, have not been in touch.

There is no official confirmation of the information.

The Russian service of the BBC, citing the British military, said that the FSB was most likely behind the downing of the plane.

The sources said that the FSB is loyal to Putin and controls the border guards. This was done in order to raise the authority of Defense Minister Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Gerasimov, "and it worked."

At the same time, the Wagner PMC camp near Osipovichi is being dismantled, the Belarusian Hajun monitoring group writes.

Prigozhin's plane crash

On August 23, an Embraer business jet belonging to Yevgeny Prigozhin crashed in the Tver region of Russia, killing 10 people. The Wagner PMC financier was among the passengers.

Journalist Vitaly Portnikov is convinced that Prigozhin's liquidation is Putin's revenge for the destroyed planes and helicopters of the Russian Armed Forces.

The Center of National Resistance reported that Wagner PMC mercenaries are trying to leave the camps in Belarus and go to Russia amid reports of the death of their leader Yevgeny Prigozhin in a plane crash.

Russian oppositionist Ilya Ponomarev believes that without their commanders, the Wagner fighters are unable to organize a second rebellion against Putin.

The Institute for the Study of War has claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin probably ordered the assassination of Wagner PMC leader Yevgeny Prigozhin in order to reassert his dominance and avenge his humiliation. 

France has stated that there are "reasonable doubts" about the cause of the plane crash in which the founder of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is believed to have died.

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