Legacy 600 crash in Russia
Legacy 600 crash in Russia

Air-to-air Missile May Have Downed Prigozhin's Bizjet

An aviation security expert believes an onboard bomb could not have caused the crash.

Aviation security consultant Eric Schouten of Dyami Strategic Security Services said his team has concluded that an air-to-air missile likely caused the August 23 crash of the Embraer Legacy 600 that killed Russian mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin and others from the Wagner Group. The Putin administration has denied suggestions that it was responsible for the killing of Prigozhin, who had recently launched a coup attempt after withdrawing his forces from the frontlines of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee has been instructed not to investigate the alleged accident, as would normally be the case under ICAO protocols. Instead, the Investigative Committee of Russia has begun what has been characterized as a criminal investigation.

Schouten, a former Dutch intelligence officer, explained that an onboard bomb could not have destroyed the Legacy 600 because large sections of the pressurized aircraft’s hull were seen intact among the wreckage of the crash site between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. He added that multiple classified sensors monitoring the area would have detected a surface-to-air missile launch.

According to Schouten, his team’s working theory is that an air-to-air missile impacted the airframe near one of the engines, forcing the aircraft into a roll, with one side of the wing being ripped off by g-forces.