The mercenary group, Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin has been killed in plane crash in Russia, with nine other people on board also dead, BBC reports.
Meanwhile, 10 people were killed in the private jet crash north of Moscow – with the Russian Civil Aviation Authority saying Yevgeny Prigozhin was on the passenger list.
Seven passengers and three crew were on board the Embraer aircraft, which was en route from Moscow to St Petersburg, TASS news agency also reported.
The jet is said to have crashed in the Tver region, north of Moscow.
Prigozhin, who is believed to have been on board the flight, shared his first video address since his aborted June mutiny just two days ago.
The mercenary chief – who was sent to Belarus in the aftermath of his march on Moscow – released footage of himself speaking while wearing camouflage and holding a rifle.
It is believed from the footage that Prigozhin was in Africa, and he also spoke about Russia making the continent “free”.
The video, shared on Telegram channels affiliated with the Wagner Group, was the first video address Prigozhin has shared since he marched his mercenaries towards Moscow in late June.
Following his reported death the United States’ President, Joe Biden on Wednesday said he was “not surprised” at the news that Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group, may have died in a plane crash in Russia.
“I don’t know for a fact what happened, but I’m not surprised,” Biden said.
“There’s not much that happens in Russia that (President Vladimir) Putin is not behind,” Biden told reporters after taking an exercise class with his family near Lake Tahoe.
“But I don’t know enough to know the answer” of what may have happened to the powerful former Putin henchman,” he said.
Prigozhin’s name was on the passenger list of the aircraft, which crashed northwest of Moscow, according to Russian State media.
The crash came two months after he launched Wagner on a short-lived rebellious march on Moscow, aiming to force the removal of the country’s military leadership.