Russian sources said Prigozhin was one of seven passengers on board a plane that crashed around 200 miles northwest of Moscow on Wednesday evening, Aug. 23, around two months after Prigozhin led an aborted mutiny attempt against the Russian Armed Forces. (Related: Wagner Group founder and leader Yevgeny Prigozhin presumed dead as Russia claims he was passenger in plane crash.)
One source, who spoke with British media outlet the Daily Express on condition of anonymity, claimed that "several" of the bodies recovered from the wreckage of the flight were without heads.
This information has yet to be confirmed, either through official statements or from videos of the aftermath of the crash spreading on social media. But if these details are confirmed, it would prove that Prigozhin's death was a deliberate act rather than a disastrous accident.
"The simple fact is that, at this moment in time, all we have are pictures of an airplane in flames, of apparently unidentifiable bodies, a list of 10 names including Prigozhin's and a message from a Russian official that Prigozhin's plane went down," said Yuri Felshtinsky, a historian and professor at Boston University.
"They may well all be connected. But who knows," he continued. "When dealing with the Russian government, often things are not as they seem at first. After the march on Moscow, the Kremlin won't want more egg on their face, however. It does seem clear that Prigozhin himself is not going to come back to tell the tale."
Prigozhin's death was confirmed both by Russian media outlets as well as by Wagner sources who discussed the matter on pro-Wagner Group Telegram channels, hailing him a hero and a patriot who died at the hands of "traitors to Russia." Russian sources even claim to have recovered Prigozhin's body from the wreckage.
"The body of Yevgeny Prigozhin was officially identified in the morgue, he was identified by one of the commanders of the PMC [private military company] Wagner. The main sign was the absence of a finger," reads a message posted on the Russian Telegram channel VChK-OGPU.
Prigozhin reportedly lost the tip of his left ring finger when he suffered an injury sometime in the 1980s while he was serving a sentence in a Soviet penal colony.
Russian President Vladimir Putin himself acknowledged Prigozhin's death, sending his "condolences" to his family and calling him a "talented businessman" involved in "oil, gas, precious metals and stones" in Russia and Africa and a "man of difficult fate" who had "made serious mistakes in life."
"As with all FSB [Russian Federal Security Service] operations, there is an enormous amount of confusion and misinformation. But a few things stand out," said Felshtinsky. "Taking down a plane in the heart of Russia smacks of desperation rather than authority."
"If Putin and the Kremlin were truly in charge, Prigozhin would have vanished into thin air," he continued. "It is unlikely that Prigozhin is still alive, but, equally it is unlikely that any of the disinformation coming from Russia is reliable."
For the latest news coming out of Russia, visit RussiaReport.news.
Watch this episode of "Brighteon Broadcast News" as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, discusses in detail Prigozhin's presumed death in the plane crash.