According to a bombshell new report from The Wall Street Journal Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the mercenary group Wagner and head of an attempted coup against Russian President Vladimir Putin, was assassinated by one of Putin’s top lieutenants.
In late August, Yevgeny Prigozhin patiently awaited the completion of a safety inspection on his Embraer Legacy 600 on the tarmac of a Moscow airport prior to its departure. With nine others, the mercenary army chief was returning to St. Petersburg.
The cabin remained oblivious to the small explosive device that had slid beneath the wing due to the delay.
After departing, the jet ascended to an altitude of 28,000 feet for approximately thirty minutes before the wing ruptured, causing the aircraft to descend in a spiral pattern.
All ten individuals, including Prigozhin, the proprietor of the Wagner paramilitary organization, perished.
The warlord’s assassination was planned for two months and received the approval of Nikolai Patrushev, the eldest ally and confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin and a former Russian intelligence officer and Western intelligence official. The driver’s involvement of Patrushev in the scheme to assassinate Prigozhin has not been disclosed previously.
Putin suggested that a hand grenade had detonated onboard, which was the closest thing to an official explanation for the fiery accident of the plane and has been denied by the Kremlin in relation to Prigozhin’s death.
As the majority of Moscow was on vacation at the start of August, Patrushev instructed his subordinate to continue formulating an operation to eliminate Prigozhin from his office in central Moscow, according to a former Russian intelligence officer. Putin was reportedly shown the plans later and did not object, according to Western intelligence agencies.
After Prigozhin completed his tour of Africa several weeks later, he was waiting at a Moscow airport while safety examiners completed a check on the aircraft. Officials from Western intelligence agencies claim that a small bomb was hidden beneath the wing during this delay.
Following 5:00 p.m., the aircraft ascended to an elevation of 28,000 feet.
However, the aircraft rapidly lost altitude and plummeted in the vicinity of the village of Kuzhenkino after more than thirty minutes. Witness videos indicate that a jet with a detached wing descended from the atmosphere following an explosion.
Russian media reported within days that DNA analysis verified Prigozhin’s demise in the crash.
Nine others, including the leader of the Wagner group, Dmitry Utkin, an additional Wagner associate, two pilots, and a 39-year-old flight attendant, perished alongside him.