Wagner Group commander Yevgeny Prigozhin is on the passenger list for the plane that crashed, killing all 10 people on board.
The head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was on the passenger list of the plane that crashed in Russia’s Tver region on Wednesday, according to the press service of the Federal Air Transport Agency.
Ten people were killed in the crash, but it is not yet clear if he was actually on board.
“An investigation has been opened into the Embraer crash that occurred tonight in the Tver region. According to the passenger list, among them is the name and surname of Yevgeny Prigozhin,” the department said in a statement.
Among the 10 dead were three crew members and seven passengers. All those on board the plane that crashed near the town of Kozykino were killed.
Eight bodies had been recovered as of 2:15 p.m. ET.
White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement that officials are monitoring reports of the crash.
She added, “If this is confirmed, no one should be surprised. The disastrous war in Ukraine led to the march of a private army on Moscow, and now – apparently – this is happening.”
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the plane crash in Russia, according to the White House.
Prigozhin is the head of the private paramilitary organization Wagner Group, which played a major role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. before launching a brief rebellion against the Russian army in June. Forces loyal to Prigozhin marched towards Moscow, before turning back several days later.
Prigozhin allegedly struck a deal with the Russian president Russian President Vladimir Putin He did not face prosecution and was transferred to Belarus, according to the Kremlin. The Kremlin said the Russian president and Prigozhin met face to face on June 29, less than a week after the failed coup.
On July 3, Prigozhin posted a message on social media claiming that the rebellion was aimed at “fighting traitors and mobilizing our society.”
“I think we have achieved a lot of that. In the near future, I am sure you will see our next victories on the front. Thanks guys,” he said.
Prigozhin’s last known public appearance came in a video clip dated August 21 from an undisclosed location in Africa.
Prigozhin helped launch The Wagner Group at the start of the Ukraine-Russian conflict in Crimea circa 2014, according to reports published by the Counterterrorism Center at West Point.
In 2018, US prosecutors charged Prigozhin for his suspected role in funding the Internet Research Agency, which the US has described as a Russian “troll farm” that sought to use digital campaigning to heighten political and social tensions in the US.
The Department of Justice charged the IRA with conspiring to “defraud the United States… for the purpose of interfering with US political and electoral processes, including the 2016 presidential election”.
The complaint described methods such as posing as US citizens and creating false online personas.
ABC News’ Will Gretzky, Ben Gittleson, Nathan Luna and Leah Friedenbrigt contributed to this report.
This is a developing story. . Please check back for updates