Yevgeny Prigozhin’s flight attendant complained about waiting for unexplained repairs to the Wagner warlord’s doomed jet before it crashed.

It comes as rumours suggest explosives were loaded onto the plane hidden inside an expensive wine crate before ten people were killed in the fiery smash.

Wagner boss Prigozhin had enraged Russian President Vladimir Putin after denting his authority by staging a short-lived coup just two months ago.

It has led to speculation the rebel’s white Embraer Legacy 600 business jet was blown out of the sky in an act of revenge from Putin, reported The Sun.

A UK intelligence source said the tyrant had ordered his FSB secret service to assassinate his former friend.

Eerie image

A chilling final photo Prigozhin’s flight attendant Kristina Raspopova posted on Facebook shows her waiting at an airport cafe to board the jet.

Before boarding, the 39-year-old told her family of an unexplained holdup and suggested the aircraft was being “repaired” before the flight, according to VChK-OGPU Telegram channel. .

One of Ms Raspopova’s relatives said: “She said that she was in Moscow, she was going to fly out, today or tomorrow.

“The aircraft was under maintenance or some urgent repairs.

“They were waiting for the flight. Some kind of maintenance, well nothing special.

“They flew in and were about to take off. There was nothing wrong.

“It seemed like she had been there for a while. That is at least a couple of days.”

After leaving Moscow on Wednesday following the holdup, the jet was filmed spiralling towards the ground from 28,000ft as smoke poured out.

Shocking photos of the aftermath revealed the mangled burnt-out wreckage of the plane.

US think tank, the Institute for the Study of War said their findings show Putin “almost certainly” ordered the Russian military to bring down the jet.

Rumours on Russian social media claim a bomb-laden wine case was loaded onto the plane before it took off.

Investigators are probing the possibility an explosive was put into the jet’s landing gear apartment, reports Telegram channel Shot.

And detectives are understood to be suspecting Prigozhin’s personal pilot Artem Stepanov, according to the channel.

Mr Stepanov is also the former founding shareholder of MNT-Aero, the company that owns the crashed aircraft.

It comes after at least 40 high profile Russian figures have mysteriously died since Putin launched his bloody war in Ukraine over a year ago

Experts believe Putin appears to be presiding over a “mafia” state where murder is a tool used to defeat his enemies and to scare his uneasy allies into keeping in line.

Prigozhin faked death in 2019

Prigozhin flew to Moscow for an unknown reason after returning from Africa – speculation is he could have been summoned there by the Kremlin.

According to reports, Prigozhin’s phone has been found among the wreckage.

Both Wagner and Moscow sources claim Prigozhin is dead – but there has been no official confirmation amid the cloak and dagger of Russia.

None of the bodies recovered from the crash site have been identified yet.

It is understood DNA testing is taking place as the corpses are so badly burnt.

But there is speculation Prigozhin may have dodged Putin’s wrath as a second plane linked to the Wagner leader was spotted just half an hour after the jet crashed.

Prigozhin previously faked his own death and was declared dead in Africa in 2019 before re-emerging three days later.

Meanwhile, a clip of Putin insisting he would never forgive betrayal has re-emerged amid claims Prigozhin had been living on borrowed time for weeks.

The dictator was asked: “Can you forgive?”

He relied: “Yes but not everything”.

When pushed on what would be “impossible to forgive”, he answered: “Betrayal”.

Putin’s former lapdog staged an armed insurrection on June 23 in a bid to topple Russia’s military leaders as he turned on the top brass in Moscow.

However, the steaming rebellion was blown out after Prigozhin struck a bitter deal with Putin putting an end to an astonishing 36-hours that saw Wagner forces reach within 200km of the capital.

This story appeared in The Sun and is reproduced with permission.

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By Rahul

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