It sure is a busy day for Vladimir Putin-related updates. The Russian president spent part of the day blaming everyone else for his invasion of Ukraine, and now, we might be seeing an exaggerated version of those who are critical of Putin suddenly plunging from high-rise windows to their deaths.
The BBC is relaying word from Russia’s civil aviation authority about the fiery wreckage of a plane, which was reportedly owned by Coup Guy Yevgeny Prigozhin. He is, of course, the former Wagner Group chief who attempted to turn Putin’s private mercenary army against the Kremlin with the intent of ousting the Russian president. That didn’t happen, although it did leave Putin apparently sitting still, frozen. Coup Guy was subsequently exiled to Belarus, and it seemed like only a matter of time before something, you know, happened. Granted, Coup Guy’s death is not officially confirmed as of yet, although he is believed to have been one of 10 on board, as CNN notes:
Russian Aviation authorities and Russian state media report Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was on the passenger list of a private jet that crashed north of Moscow, killing all 10 on board.
The Russian claims are not verified, and Prigozhin's fate is not certain at this time. pic.twitter.com/RTVup1isHp
— The Recount (@therecount) August 23, 2023
On social media, footage is circulating of the plane spiraling down from he sky, after which it burst into flames upon impact. (As well, graphic footage purports to show dead bodies, so be warned before you go looking.)
The BBC further reports that the “Wagner-linked Telegram channel Grey Zone reported the Embraer aircraft was shot down by air defences in the Tver region, north of Moscow.” Additionally, “Tass news agency said the plane caught fire on hitting the ground, adding that four bodies had already been found.”
On social media, the general guess is that this will be called “just an accident” by the Kremlin.
Prob just an accident and Putin had nothing to do with it pic.twitter.com/FVSouh2sfd
— Wu Tang is for the Children (@WUTangKids) August 23, 2023
Poisoning, falling from a flat, overfloating bathtub, motorway accidents and now a plane crash. Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin should have seen this coming. Probably couldn’t avert it. Russia, a country where betrayal is the greatest ‘sin.’
— Dr Dípò Awójídé (@OgbeniDipo) August 23, 2023
BREAKING: Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of Wagner Group died in Jet crash. Most predictable "accident" in history?
*Just replace "limousine" with "private jet" on my poll from two months ago!! https://t.co/83ynYpNMLI
— Gerry Stergiopoulos (@GerryGreek) August 23, 2023
Dan Rather is not shocked. “In a surprise to no one, a plane carrying the mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, who led a failed coup attempt against Putin, crashed in Russia killing all aboard,” tweeted the former CBS News anchor. “Apparently the Kremlin is ‘investigating.'”
In a surprise to no one, a plane carrying the mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, who led a failed coup attempt against Putin, crashed in Russia killing all aboard. Apparently the Kremlin is “investigating.”
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) August 23, 2023
And yes, people have thoughts. They are thinking of high-rise windows and vodka toasts at the Kremlin.
And by "investigating" they mean ordering more vodka.
— Flintstone56 (@Flintstone561) August 23, 2023
Well, I guess Putin had to get a little more creative. Falling out of windows/off balconies was getting used too much
— LolaMary🧡SFGiants (@MGouig) August 23, 2023
My understanding is the plane was helping a neighbor move a piano into a tenth floor apartment, but fell out the window after tripping over polonium on the stairs.
— Salty Bastard (@saltysaltsalt85) August 23, 2023
I’m shocked. Who else? 🙄
— Angela Belcamino (@AngelaBelcamino) August 23, 2023
Shocker it took this long.
— BC (@Bluefish2004) August 23, 2023
I was expecting him to “fall” from a high rise building in Moscow.
— Lakota Man (@LakotaMan1) August 23, 2023