MOSCOW - Russian mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was on the passenger list for a plane that has crashed near Moscow, killing 10 people.

The private jet came down north of Moscow on Wednesday, the TASS news agency reported, citing Rosaviatsia, Russia’s aviation authority.

“An investigation has been launched into the Embraer plane crash that occurred tonight in the Tver region. According to the passenger list, among them is the name and surname of Yevgeny Prigozhin,” Rosaviatsia said.

Earlier TASS had reported that ten people had died after a private jet crashed in Russia’s Tver region north of Moscow. The jet, en route from Moscow to St Petersburg, was carrying seven passengers and three crew.

Long a low-profile Russian businessman with a criminal record and a background in catering, the commander has become an increasingly vocal critic of the Kremlin’s defence ministers as the war in Ukraine has progressed

It comes as Ukraine destroyed a Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defence system in occupied Crimea, Kyiv claims.