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Russian investigators recover flight recorders from Prigozhin's crashed plane

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 25, 2023 10:13 PM 2 min read
A view of the site after a private jet, allegedly carrying Wagner mercenary group head Yevgeny Prigozhin and other passengers, that crashed in Russia's northwestern Tver Oblast on Aug. 23, 2023. (Wagner Telegram Account/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Russia's Investigative Committee said on Aug. 25 that it had seized flight recorders from the scene of a plane crash that reportedly killed Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin.

The investigators are reportedly conducting a "detailed inspection of the scene" and examining the 10 bodies found at the site to identify them.

"Currently, items and documentation that are important for establishing all the circumstances of the crash are also being seized, and the necessary forensic examinations will be appointed," the Committee added.

The private Embraer Legacy aircraft crashed near the village of Kuzhenkino in Tver Oblast while flying from Moscow to St. Petersburg on the evening of Aug. 23.

Russian warlord Prigozhin, who had launched a short-lived rebellion against the Kremlin in late June, is presumed dead in the crash.

While the cause of the plane crash is currently unknown, flight-tracking data indicates that in the last minutes of its flight, the plane made erratic climbs and descents before dramatically dropping almost 2,500 meters per minute, after which the transmission of altitude data stopped.

The Russian Investigative Committee has initiated a "criminal case" following the plane crash due to the alleged violation of traffic safety rules and air transport operations.

On Aug. 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed Prigoshin's death. The likely cause of the crash was a bomb onboard or "some other form of sabotage," according to unnamed U.S. officials cited by the Wall Street Journal.

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