Russia denies foreign investigation for crash that killed Wagner chief Prigozhin

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Foreign investigators will take no part in the investigation surrounding the crash of the Embraer Legacy 600 jet that killed Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the infamous Russian private military company Wagner Group. 

On August 23, 2023, the business jet registered as RA-02795 crashed in a field near Kuzhenkino, Tver Region, approximately 300 kilometers (about 185 miles) northwest of Moscow, Russia. All 10 individuals on board were killed. 

The circumstances of the crash have raised concerns that foul play might have been involved in the elimination of Prigozhin and his associates. Factors such as the sudden descent of the aircraft and the scattering of parts over several kilometers suggest that a catastrophic mid-air event, such as an explosion, may have taken place. 

Due to the potential criminal nature of the incident, the Kremlin has ruled out international participation in the investigation. As a result, the Brazilian Aeronautical Accidents Investigation and Prevention Center (CENIPA) will not be involved, despite being the country where the crashed aircraft was designed and manufactured. 

In the event of an aviation accident, the Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention, specifies that “the State of Registry, the State of the Operator, the State of Design, and the State of Manufacture shall each be entitled to appoint an accredited representative to participate in the investigation”. 

On August 28, 2023, a CNN reporter who visited the crash location reported that it had already been “flattened and cleaned”. 

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