Russia's business class, rich men are increasingly turning up dead in mysterious ways. Most of these deaths have similar stories - falling from a window/balcony/stairs/boat, hanging, murder-suicides, and suicides.
There have been so many rich and dead Russians this year alone that there's a Wikipedia page dedicated to tracking and listing all of these deaths. So far, there are 21 deaths listed on Wikipedia.
The latest addition to the list is Pavel Antov, a multi-millionaire pro-Putin politician (who criticised the Ukraine war), who "fell" to his death from a window of a hotel in Odisha, India. Antov's death is perhaps the first high-profile Russian death to have taken place in India this year since most of the other similar deaths either occurred in Russia or Europe.
Common themes in the cause of death of the rich Russians:
In most of these cases, the cause of death has been cited as suicide, accident, or heart attack. Unexplained deaths of influential Russians are not uncommon; but this year is special because of the Ukraine war.
So, what to make of these high-profile Russian deaths? When we look at the deaths of the rich Russians individually, it doesn't seem too odd. But when all of them are looked at together, the deaths do appear suspicious.
Theory 1: Of course, the most tantalising theory is that all of the suicides, accidents, and natural deaths are murders linked to the Kremlin and carried out on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Theory 2: Some of them could be suicides or accidents like they appear to be. In 2019, the WHO found that Russia has the third-highest suicide rate in the world.
Theory 3: Another possibility is that some of the deaths are murders, but not by Kremlin, instead by the cut-throat business culture of Russia; essentially rich Russians killing other rich Russians.
...shady business, attempt to cover tracks, attempt to wipe out a competitor, trying to maybe get rid of someone who's inconvenient at a time when there's a lot of pressure on state-affiliated companies, especially in the oil and gas sector, but also in the defense sector.
The rich Russians dropping dead mysteriously or non-mysteriously are not all Putin critics, some of them were allies, who benefited from him. Some of them were also allies gone bad, and critical of Putin's ways.
The latest on Pavel Antov: The Russian Embassy, meanwhile told the media that the death of Pavel Antov and his associate Vladimir Bidenov did not look suspicious. The Odisha police, however, have intensified their investigations into the deaths of the two Russians at the hotel Sai International in Rayagada.