August 24, 2023 Russia-Ukraine, Prigozhin news

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An investigative group run by exiled Russian billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky has published a report about the other passengers on board a private jet that crashed in Russia Wednesday, apparently killing Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.

On Wednesday, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency, citing the airline, released the names of everyone on board, including those of the pilots and a flight attendant. They are all believed dead.

In addition to Prigozhin, the passengers were listed as Sergey Propustin, Evgeniy Makaryan, Aleksandr Totmin, Valeriy Chekalov, Nikolay Matuseev and Dmitriy Utkin.

Utkin has been a trusted lieutenant of Prigozhin since the creation of the Wagner private military company, CNN earlier reported.

The investigative group, the Dossier Center, has now revealed more about some of the other passengers and their connection to the private military group:

Valeriy Chekalov: ​​​​​​​Chekalov was one of the Wagner boss’ deputies who had worked with him since the early 2000s, the Dossier Center says. He oversaw all of Prigozhin’s “civilian” projects abroad, including geological exploration, oil production and agriculture, as well as the company’s logistics.

In July, the US State Department imposed sanctions on Chekalov for acting on Prigozhin’s behalf, noting that he had “facilitated shipments of munitions to the Russian Federation.”

Evgeniy Makaryan: Makaryan joined Wagner in March 2016, the Dossier Center reported. He was part of the fourth Wagner assault detachment in Syria, which came under fire from American aircraft near Khasham in February 2018.

CNN previously reported that Russia acknowledged suffering heavy casualties in an ill-fated operation against US-backed forces in Syria.

At the time, Moscow insisted the casualties were not Russian troops, saying “servicemen of the Russian Federation did not participate in any way” in the clash. It did not say what the Russians were doing there, but families of the victims say they were military contractors working for Wagner.

Nikolai Matusevich: While the Dossier Center said it could not find a Wagner official with a perfect match for the spelling listed by Russian officials — Nikolay Matuseev — they did find Matusevich, who has been with Wagner since January 2017 and also served in the fourth assault detachment in Syria.

Sergey Propustin: Propustin joined Wagner in March 2015 and fought in a company dubbed Kirill Tikhonovich, which was one of the Wagner group’s combat units, according to the Dossier Center.

CNN has reached out to the Dossier Center for more information about their report and sourcing.


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