In Russia, there have been a series of unexpected events this summer, including drone attacks in Moscow, a sharp devaluation of the Russian rubble, and the loss of Russia’s ‘Luna-25’ lander on the Moon. However, the news of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s plane crash in Russia’s Tver Region did not come as a shock to most people. In fact, many Russians were surprised it hadn’t happened sooner.
Speculation had been circulating for weeks in Russia regarding Prigozhin’s fate. Two months ago, he launched a brief mutiny, with his mercenaries seizing a major Russian city and marching on Moscow. After the rebellion was called off, many believed Prigozhin’s days were numbered, considering the humiliation it caused the Kremlin.
About an hour after the crash, the Russian Federal Aviation Agency Rosaviatsiya quickly confirmed Yevgeny Prigozhin’s name on the passenger manifest, which was unusually fast for the agency.
Russian state TV has kept its reporting on the incident to a minimum and quoted government officials without providing much commentary. This is a common practice in Russia, where state TV channels often wait for official instructions on how to report on sensitive topics.
Telegram channels linked to the Wagner mercenaries have claimed that Prigozhin was “killed by traitors of Russia.” In St. Petersburg, a makeshift shrine appeared at the Wagner Centre, with people bringing flowers and candles.
The focus has now shifted to the investigation into what happened on board the flight. Russian media reports that investigators are exploring various possible causes, including “external actions.”
Political analyst Tatiana Stanovaya commented on the incident, stating that the cause of the plane crash may not be as important as the message it sends to potential mutineers. She believes that from Putin’s perspective, as well as that of many security and military officials, Prigozhin’s death should serve as a lesson and a warning.