Old video of Russian military plane being shot down shared as plane crash involving Prigozhin

By: Vivek J
August 24 2023

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Old video of Russian military plane being shot down shared as plane crash involving Prigozhin


The Verdict False

The video has been online since June 2023 and reportedly shows a Russian military aircraft being shot down. It is unrelated to the Prigozhin incident.

Claim ID b01b7bb5


Yevgeny Prigozhin made headlines when Wagner, the notorious mercenary group led by him, took to the streets of Russia in an armed rebellion against President Vladimir Putin in June 2023. On August 23, 2023, reports emerged that a private jet carrying Prigozhin had crashed North of Moscow. According to the latest reports, all passengers onboard were reportedly dead.  

Russia’s state-owned news agency TASS quoted aviation authorities as saying, “An investigation into the Embraer plane crash that occurred in the Tver Region this evening has been launched. According to the passenger list, the first and last name of Yevgeny Prigozhin was included in this list.” Prigozhin’s deputy Dmitry Utkin was also reportedly on the passenger list.

Amid these developments, a video purporting to show the plane crash involving the Wagner chief has been shared on social media. A post’s caption on X (formerly Twitter) read, “The moment of the plane crash with Prigozhin and Utkin (they were on the passenger list).” Archives of similar posts can be seen here and here.

Screenshot of the X post purportedly showing the plane crash involving Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin. (Source: X/@JarekKuczko)

However, this video is unrelated to the recently reported plane crash from August 2023.

In fact

We analyzed the keyframes of the video shared on social media and found multiple video reports dating back to June 2023. One such video on YouTube by The Sun, dated June 25, 2023, contains the same visuals noted in the video’s title like this: “Russian plane crashes out of the sky after 'being shot down by Wagner forces.'” The Telegraph has also published a similar report on this video.

Screenshot of the video shared on YouTube by “The Sun” on June 25, 2023. (Source: YouTube/The Sun)

The viral video and the video from June 2023 are visually similar, and we verified this by visually analyzing the two videos. 

Screenshots of the smoke trail from the recently shared video and the news reports from June 2023. (Source: X/@JarekKuczko, YouTube/The Sun. Altered by Logically Facts)

Upon looking for reports of a Russian plane shot down by Wagner forces, we found multiple news reports of a Russian Ilyushin Il 22M aerial command post, among other aircraft, being shot down by Wagner forces during their uprising against the Russian Federation in June 2023.

A news report by The Telegraph quoted the British Ministry of Defense as stating, “It is understood that on Saturday air defense forces of the Wagner group shot down an Ilyushin Il-22M aircraft, part of a relatively small fleet of 12 such planes heavily utilized for both airborne command and control and radio relay tasks.” This incident reportedly occurred on Saturday, June 24, 2023, in Russia’s Southwestern Voronezh.  

Furthermore, there are news reports showing the visuals of the plane crash reportedly involving Yevgeny Prigozhin and his deputy. These reported videos are visually distinct from the ones shared on social media. 

Screenshot of the video reportedly showing the plane crash involving Yevgeny Prigozhin. (Source: Sky News,  YouTube/CNN)

In June 2023, Wagner mercenaries marched into Russia, alleging that Russian forces bombed a Wagner base, aiding Russian forces in Ukraine. According to local reports, the mercenary group damaged or destroyed multiple Russian military vehicles, including helicopters, aircraft, and an Ilyushin Il 22M aerial command post. The reported video of this Ilyushin aircraft being shot down has been shared as a recent video that reportedly killed Prigozhin.

The verdict

During an armed rebellion against the Russian Federation, the Wagner mercenary group led by Yevgeny Prigozhin reportedly downed a Russian military’s Ilyushin aerial command aircraft. The video of this incident is being shared as the plane crash that allegedly killed Prigozhin on August 23, 2023. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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