Russia (AP) — According to Russia's civil aviation service, Yevgeny Prigozhin,
the commander of a brief armed insurrection against the Russian military earlier this year, was on board a jet that crashed north of Moscow on Wednesday, killing all 10 people on board.
The creator of the Wagner private military business has been the focus of intense speculation ever since he led the rebellion, thus the crash immediately prompted questions.
Vladimir Putin, the president at the time, referred to the uprising as "treason" and a "stab in the back" and threatened to exact revenge. However, Prigozhin's charges were quickly dropped.
The Wagner commander, whose troops were among Russia's strongest fighting units in Ukraine, was permitted to go to Belarus although rumor has it that he occasionally appeared in Russia.
The incident also occurs after news broke in Russian media that the commander of the air force, a senior general connected to Prigozhin, had been fired.
According to witnesses reported by Russia's state news service Tass, a jet carrying three pilots and seven passengers that was traveling from Moscow to St.
Petersburg crashed around 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of the capital.