Ex-Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin has been killed in a plane crash north of Moscow, Russian news agency TASS is reporting.
Prigozhin was on board a plane along with 9 other people, when it crashed while flying to St Petersberg.
An Embraer Legacy 600 Business Jet going by RA-02795 which is Registered to Leader of the Wagner PMC Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin has reportedly crashed in the Tver Region of Russia to the Northwest of Moscow resulting in the death of all who were onboard.
The Russian Air Force was the hardest hit during the Wagner Rebellion. 13-29 dead. A helicopter and a plane shot down.
Prigozhin’s death up in the air is a symmetrical bookend to the whole saga.
#BREAKING Video shows the moment air defences SHOT DOWN Yevgeny Prigozhin’s jet just outside of Moscow.
— Ticker News (@tickerNEWSco) August 23, 2023
THIS IS PART OF THE REPORT FROM RUSSIA’S TASS NEWS AGENCY:
Outside the regional capital of Voronezh, halfway between Rostov-on-Don and Moscow, 109] Wagner troops were attacked by a helicopter. The Air Force suffered significant losses while confronting Wagner troops, with at least one.
helicopter and an II-22M airborne command-center plane shot down. According to the British Ministry of Defence, the loss of the II-22M was particularly significant, as it was one of only twelve aircraft of the type that had been key to the war effort against Ukraine.
Ukrainian forces had been unsuccessfully trying to shoot down an II-22M throughout the war. At least thirteen Russian military personnel were killed. 5 Janes inferred the number to potentially be as high as 29, based on an estimation of the number of personnel needed to operate all of the reportedly
Shortly after the Crash in the Tver Region, a 2nd Business Jet owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin that was heading along a similar Route from St. Petersburg landed in Moscow. pic.twitter.com/Exl760OeAo
— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) August 23, 2023
This story updates.
Russia had accused Prigozhin of mutiny
Russia accused mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin of armed mutiny on Friday after he alleged, without providing evidence, that the military leadership had killed a huge number of his fighters in an air strike and vowed to punish them.
The standoff, many of whose details remained unclear, looked like the biggest domestic crisis President Vladimir Putin has faced since he ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine – something he called a “special military operation” – in February last year.
Prigozhin said his actions were not a military coup. But in a frenzied series of audio messages, in which the sound of his voice sometimes varied and could not be independently verified, he appeared to suggest that 25,000 fighters were en route to oust the leaders of the defence establishment in Moscow.
“There are 25,000 of us and we are going to figure out why chaos is happening in the country,” he said, promising to tackle any checkpoints or air forces that got in Wagner’s way.
At about 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, Moscow time (2300 GMT), Prigozhin issued a new message saying his forces had crossed the border from Ukraine, and were in the southern Russian city of Rostov.
At around the same time, the state news agency TASS quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying all Russia’s main security services were reporting to Putin “round the clock” on the fulfilment of his orders with respect to Prigozhin.
Security was being tightened in Moscow, TASS said, focusing on what it called the capital’s most important government sites and infrastructure.
Earlier on Friday, Prigozhin had appeared to cross a new line in his increasingly vitriolic feud with the ministry, saying that the Kremlin’s rationale for invading Ukraine was based on lies concocted by the army’s top brass.
The FSB domestic security service said it had opened a criminal case against him for calling for an armed mutiny, a crime punishable with a jail term of up to 20 years.
“Prigozhin’s statements are in fact calls for the start of an armed civil conflict on Russian territory and his actions are a ‘stab in the back’ of Russian servicemen fighting pro-fascist Ukrainian forces,” the FSB said.
“We urge the … fighters not to make irreparable mistakes, to stop any forcible actions against the Russian people, not to carry out the criminal and traitorous orders of Prigozhin, to take measures to detain him.”Army Lieutenant-General Vladimir Alekseyev issued a video appeal asking Prigozhin to reconsider his actions.
“Only the president has the right to appoint the top leadership of the armed forces, and you are trying to encroach on his authority,” he said.
Army General Sergei Surovikin, the deputy commander of Russian forces in Ukraine whom Prigozhin has praised in the past, in a separate video said that “the enemy is just waiting for our internal political situation to deteriorate”.
“Before it is too late … you must submit to the will and order of the people’s president of the Russian Federation. Stop the columns and return them to their permanent bases,” he said.
Prigozhin, whose men spearheaded the capture of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut last month, has for months been openly accusing Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russia’s top general, Valery Gerasimov, of rank incompetence and of denying Wagner ammunition and support.
An unverified video posted on a Telegram channel close to Wagner showed the purported scene of an air strike against Wagner forces. It showed a forest where small fires were burning and trees appeared to have been broken by force. There appeared to be one body, but no more direct evidence of any attack.
It carried the caption: “A missile attack was launched on the camps of PMC (Private Military Company) Wagner. Many victims. According to eyewitnesses, the strike was delivered from the rear, that is, it was delivered by the military of the Russian Ministry of Defence.”
Prigozhin has tried to exploit Wagner’s battlefield success, achieved at enormous human cost, to publicly berate Moscow with seeming impunity, while carefully avoiding criticism of Putin.
But on Friday he for the first time dismissed Putin’s core justifications for invading Ukraine on Feb. 24 last year, something for which many Russians have been fined or jailed.
“The war was needed … so that Shoigu could become a marshal … so that he could get a second ‘Hero’ [of Russia] medal,” Prigozhin said in a video clip. “The war wasn’t needed to demilitarise or denazify Ukraine.”
Marat Gabidullin, a former Wagner commander who moved to France when Russia invaded Ukraine, told Reuters that Wagner’s fighters were likely to stand with Prigozhin.
“We have looked down on the army for a long time … Of course they support him, he is their leader,” he said.
“They won’t hesitate (to fight the army), if anyone gets in their way.”
Streaming wars: can Apple compete with Spotify?
Spotify’s 2023 Wrapped has dropped prompting listeners to review their top artists, genres, and songs of the year.
Many are taking to social media platforms to share their listening trends with family, friends, coworkers, and even other fans on the internet.
While Apple Music, a rival platform, has its own year-end campaign—it hasn’t quite ignited the same online response.
Seth Schachner, the Managing Director at StratAmericas and a former Sony Music Executive joins Veronica Dudo to discuss. #Spotify #music #Apple #AppleMusic #SpotifyWrapped #streaming #featured #IN AMERICA TODAY
What Australia can learn from NZ’s supermarket inquiry
Coles and Woolworths, two of Australia’s largest supermarket chains, are about to face a Senate inquiry that aims to scrutinise their market dominance and business practices.
The inquiry’s parallels with a past New Zealand investigation highlight the growing concern over the duopoly’s impact on consumers and smaller businesses.
The Senate inquiry, set to begin next month, comes as a response to mounting public pressure and allegations of anti-competitive behavior in the grocery sector.
New Zealand example
Similar concerns led New Zealand to conduct its own inquiry into the supermarket industry back in 2019, resulting in recommendations for increased regulation and transparency.
The central question here is whether Coles and Woolworths wield too much power in the Australian market, potentially stifling competition and limiting choices for consumers.
With the New Zealand example as a cautionary tale, many are wondering if this inquiry will result in meaningful changes to the Australian grocery landscape.
Elon Musk: Nikki Haley’s ‘campaign is dead’
Elon Musk has thrown a verbal jab at former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, declaring her political campaign as “dead” on X.
The unexpected comment from the Tesla and SpaceX CEO has ignited a new wave of discussion within the political sphere, leaving many wondering about the implications for Haley’s political future.
In a tweet that garnered significant attention, Musk criticized Haley’s recent policy stance, writing, “Nikki Haley’s campaign is dead on arrival if she continues to ignore the urgency of climate change.
We need leaders who prioritize the planet’s future.” The tech mogul’s remarks come as Haley, a prominent Republican figure, has been exploring the possibility of running for president in the upcoming election cycle.
Musk’s statement has reignited the debate over climate change within the Republican Party, with many conservatives emphasizing economic interests over environmental concerns.
This raises questions about whether Musk’s endorsement or critique could influence the GOP’s stance on climate issues and potentially impact the 2024 presidential race.
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