Who was on the private jet that crashed in Russia?


Ten bodies have been recovered from the site of a Russian plane crash, state media has said, with a number of high-profile members of the Wagner mercenary group reportedly on board.

Seven passengers and three crew were on board the Embraer aircraft, and all were killed, Russian authorities said – although Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin’s death has yet to be officially confirmed.

The plane was heading from Moscow to St Petersburg before it came down came down near the village of Kuzhenkino Tver.

Sky News looks at who was on the plane’s manifest, released by Russia’s civilian aviation regulator:

Yevgeny Prigozhin


Born in 1961 in the city of Leningrad – now St Petersburg, Prigozhin had a difficult start in life, losing his father at a young age.

He turned to crime in his teenage years, initially theft, but quickly escalating into more serious crimes. He was jailed for 12 years, aged 20, in 1981 after being convicted of robbery and fraud.

Prigozhin was pardoned in 1988 and released in 1990 when he began selling hot dogs at a flea market in Leningrad with his mother and stepfather.

Prigozhin later founded, or became involved in, many new businesses, and in the 2000s, he grew closer to Putin.

He even earned himself the nickname “Putin’s chef” on account of his Kremlin-linked catering business. His companies won lucrative government contracts, including providing school lunches, and in Moscow alone, his company Concord won millions of dollars in deals.

Read more: From hot dog seller to ‘Putin’s butcher’

Prigozhin’s Wagner Group was heavily involved in the capture of Bakhmut, one of the bloodiest battles in the Ukraine war. According to US figures, around 20,000 Russian troops were killed in the fighting, with around half thought to be from the Wagner Group.

Dmitry Utkin

Dmitry Utkin. Pic: Grey Zone/Telegram
Pic: Grey Zone/Telegram

Utkin – a former Russian soldier reportedly adorned with Nazi tattoos – has been described as Prigozhin’s right-hand man and allegedly played a key role in the founding of the Wagner Group.

He is said to have a fascination with the third Reich, naming the group after Adolph Hitler’s favourite composer.

Previously, Utkin was a lieutenant colonel in the GRU military intelligence service and was deployed twice to Chechnya.

The 53-year-old has also been accused of involvement in numerous war crimes, including in Homs, Syria, where he reportedly gave the order to beat a deserter to death and demanded the act be filmed.

Sergei Propustin

Little is known about the 44 year old, except he was a Wagner fighter.

Sergei Propustin
Sergei Propustin

Yevgeny Makaryan

Makaryan was a fighter in the Wagner Group and was presumed to be Prigozhin’s bodyguard. He was included on the controversial Ukrainian Myrotvorets (“Peacemaker”) website, which keeps a list of alleged “enemies of Ukraine”.

He was a junior lieutenant in the police and fought in Syria, surviving a clash with American planes while out there.

He remained a commander in the group, though little is known about his exact role.

Alexander Totmin

Alexander Totmin

The Wagner fighter is presumed to be one of Prigozhin’s bodyguards.

Valery Chekalov

Valery Chekalov

The 47 year old was originally from Vladivostok but had lived in St Petersburg since 2008.

Chekalov was reportedly Prigozhin’s deputy, responsible for all the logistics of the Wagner Group.

A longtime employee of Concord holding – another Prigozhin company – he was in charge of managing mercenaries, securing weapons, and running the oil, gas and mineral businesses in Syria and Africa, said Lou Osborn, author of a forthcoming book on the mercenaries and an investigator with All Eyes on Wagner, a project focusing on the group.

He was targeted by US sanctions last month for having “acted on behalf of Prigozhin” and facilitating shipments of munitions to Russia.

Nikolai Matuseyev

Matuseyev was a presumed Wagner Group fighter.

Kristina Raspopova

Kristina Raspopova

Raspopova was a flight attendant.

The 39-year-old air stewardess was the only woman to be killed.

She was reportedly the sister of Yevgeny Raspopov, a deputy prosecutor in the Chelyabinsk region.

One of the last images she shared on social media was her eating breakfast, waiting for the doomed flight, with her cabin bag next to her.

Alexei Levshin

The 51-year-old pilot is survived by his wife and two children.

Rustam Karimov

Rustam Karimov

Karimov was the co-pilot of the plane. According to Russian media reports he was 29 years old and from Perm.