UPDATE - Biden briefed after plane crash reportedly kills 10, including Wagner chief
'There’s not much that happens in Russia that Putin's not behind,' Biden says, adding he does not know enough yet
ADDS BIDEN COMMENTS IN GRAFS 8-9; UPDATES DECK
By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - The White House said Wednesday that US President Joe Biden has been briefed after a private plane crashed outside of Moscow with 10 people on board, including Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Prigozhin was included on the list of passengers aboard the Embraer business jet that crashed in the Tver Region, located northwest of the capital, according to Russia's state-run news agency, TASS.
The plane had departed Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport en route to St. Petersburg.
"We have seen the reports. If confirmed, no one should be surprised," National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson told reporters.
The crash comes two months to the day after Prigozhin led a mutiny against Russia's military that was quickly aborted as his forces closed in on the Russian capital.
In the weeks after the armed rebellion, Biden said Prigozhin should be cautious about his life, alluding to past poisonings blamed on Russia that targeted Russian President Vladimir Putin's political enemies.
“If I were he, I’d be careful what I ate. I’d be keeping my eye on my menu," said Biden. "I don't think any of us know for sure what the future of Prigozhin is in Russia."
Asked by a reporter if Putin was behind the fatal crash shortly after the news broke, Biden said, "There’s not much that happens in Russia that Putin's not behind. But I don’t know enough to know the answer."
“You may recall, when I was asked about this by you, I said I’d be careful what I rode in. I don’t know for a fact what happened but I’m not surprised," Biden said.
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