Prigozhin plane debris points to sabotage

The severed wing from Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private jet was apparently found miles away from the crash site Friday — evidence, according to aviation experts, to support a growing consensus that the Russian mercenary leader was killed after his plane was sabotaged and tumbled out of the sky in pieces.

Prigozhin is believed to have been on board the Embraer Legacy 600 that crashed north of Moscow on Wednesday, exactly two months after he launched a brief rebellion against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military.

While much remains unclear, Western officials and analysts shared a mounting conviction based on public evidence and private intelligence: This was no simple accident.

“The aircraft clearly came apart in-flight following some sort of catastrophic event at altitude,” said Jeff Guzzetti, an aviation expert and NBC News contributor. “It literally fell to the ground like a Coke bottle, totally out of control and missing wing parts. New jets like this don’t come apart like this unless something bad happened.”

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Yevgeny Prigozhin was among seven passengers aboard the business jet when it came down, the Tass state news agency reported.

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