| 14 July 2024, Sunday |

Wagner ‘skull’ flag flies over empty Prigozhin plane crash site in Russia

A black Wagner flag flies beside a mound of rocks surrounded by flowers at the scene of the plane crash that killed Russia’s most powerful mercenary nine days ago, but all of the private jet’s debris has been cleared.

On August 23, the plane carrying Yevgeny Prigozhin from Moscow to St. Petersburg crashed, killing all ten individuals on board, including two other high Wagner leaders, Prigozhin’s four bodyguards, and a crew of three.

At the crash site near the village of Kuzhenkino in Russia’s Tver region, there was no sign of the remains of the Embraer Legacy 600 jet, footage obtained by Reuters showed on Friday.

All that remained was a makeshift stone memorial of four boulders to the mercenary chief surrounded by red carnations and a Wagner flag flying on a pole made from a tree branch.

The flag sports a white skull surrounded by the words “PMC Wagner Group” in both English and Russian.

The cause of the crash is still unclear, but villagers near the scene told Reuters shortly after the crash that they heard a bang and then saw the jet plummet to the ground.

The plane crashed exactly two months since Prigozhin took control of the southern city of Rostov in late June, the opening salvo of a mutiny which shook the foundations of President Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that investigators were considering the possibility that the plane carrying Prigozhin was downed on purpose, the first explicit acknowledgement that he may have been assassinated.

  • Reuters