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Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, who led a rebellion against Russian President Vladimir Putin in June this year, died in a plane crash along with nine other passengers on Wednesday.

Prigozhin's death does not come as a shock since Putin's enemies have a history of meeting their deaths under mysterious circumstances. Several prominent people took to Twitter (now X) to react to the news.

Tesla CEO and X owner Elon Musk was among the ones who said that they had expected it. However, Musk added that it took "longer" than he expected. "Slight chance this is a psy op," he added.

The 62-year-old was travelling in a private plane when it crashed between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. All 10 people on board died, including three crew members. However, only eight bodies have been recovered so far. Meanwhile, Russia's aviation agency, Rosaviatsia, has set up a special commission to investigate the crash.

United States President Joe Biden has also suggested Putin's involvement in Prigozhin's death. "I don't know for a fact what happened, but I'm not surprised," the US president said. "There's not much that happens in Russia that Putin's not behind. But I don't know enough to know the answer."

Ukraine has called the plane crash "a signal from Putin to Russia's elites ahead of the 2024 elections. 'Beware! Disloyalty equals death'." However, the Kremlin has not issued any statement on the incident. Putin has also not mentioned anything about it in any of his public engagements.

The Wagner chief's death is the latest in a string of such incidents that have been reported in Russia since its invasion of Ukraine last year in February. A number of prominent Russians have died in unexplained circumstances over the last year. A majority of these deaths were deemed accidental, like falling out of windows or down the stairs.

According to local media reports, at least 20 prominent Russians have died since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war. It now remains to be seen if anyone ever finds out what caused the plane crash.

Wagner mutiny:

The armed rebellion led by Prigozhin had sparked a crisis in Russia, but Vladimir Putin got lucky as the rebels stood down after striking a deal with the Kremlin.

Prigozhin's men had been at the forefront of the Russian assault in eastern Ukraine for months. He had earlier accused the Russian authorities of withholding ammunition supplies.

He accused Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu of "treason" for allegedly withholding ammunition supplies to his forces, leaving them vulnerable. He even claimed that Moscow may be trying to set them up as possible scapegoats if his country loses the war in Ukraine.

"If we retreat, then we will go down in history forever as people who have taken the main step towards losing the war," Prigozhin said. He made the claims in a video posted on the Wagner Orchestra Telegram channel.

He also blamed Russian generals for the thousands of losses the country has suffered since the Ukraine invasion. Prigozhin defended the mutiny, stating that it was an attempt to save his mercenary group and expose the failures of Russia's military leadership, per a report in AFP.

"We went to demonstrate our protest and not to overthrow power in the country," Prigozhin said in an online audio message. Several reports have claimed that he had been exiled to Belarus. Wagner, a private military company, used to work closely with Russia's defence ministry. It was founded by Prigozhin, who was known as a Putin crony.

Putin also confirmed that the group was wholly funded by the Russian federal budget and added that the Russian government has paid the group billions of dollars since the invasion of Ukraine.