“Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was among passengers on a plane that crashed northwest of Moscow on Wednesday, according to Russian state media.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry told TASS News and RIA Novosti that all 10 people on board the private plane died in the crash in Tver Oblast and that Mr. Prigozhin was on the list of passengers on board the plane. Photos of the crash showed what appeared to be the wreckage of a plane on fire in a field.”

Analyst Comment: The plane appeared to have been downed by Russian air defense systems. Worth noting is that we still don’t have and probably won’t have proof Prigozhin was actually on board. Nonetheless, he has gone silent. So either Russia killed him or he is enjoying a quiet retirement. Over the next few weeks two big questions will be answered: What will the thousands of Wagner mercs now in Belarus do in response to the apparent assassination of their beloved leader? Is this the beginning of a larger political purge in Russia?