The severed wing off Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private jet was apparently found miles from the crash site on Friday – evidence aviation experts say supports a growing consensus that the Russian mercenary leader was killed after his plane was sabotaged and fell from the sky in pieces.
Prigozhin is believed to have been aboard the Embraer Legacy 600 that crashed north of Moscow on Wednesday, exactly two months after he launched a brief uprising against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military.
While much remains unclear, Western officials and analysts, based on public evidence and private intelligence, have come to believe that this was no mere coincidence.
“The plane apparently fell apart in flight after a catastrophic event at altitude,” said Jeff Guzzetti, aviation expert and contributor to NBC News. “It literally fell to the ground like a coke bottle, completely out of control and with no wing parts. New jets like this don’t disintegrate unless something bad happens.”
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Yevgeny Prigozhin was one of seven passengers on board the business jet when it crashed, state news agency Tass reported.