India Investigating Death of Russian Politician

Indian police are investigating the sudden death of Russian politician Pavel Antov, a multimillionaire sausage tycoon and critic of the war in Ukraine, who died in the eastern state of Odisha.

India Investigating Death of Russian Politician
Image credit: Pavel Antov/VK

Facts

  • Indian police are investigating the sudden death of Russian politician Pavel Antov, a multimillionaire sausage tycoon and critic of the war in Ukraine, who died in the eastern state of Odisha.
  • On Saturday, Antov fell from a third-floor window of a luxury hotel in Rayagada city. His abrupt death comes after his friend and Russian lawmaker Vladimir Budanov died of a heart attack on Antov’s 65th birthday two days previously, on Dec. 22.
  • Authorities have speculated that Antov was depressed after his friend's death, and that he died by suicide. There isn't a "criminal element in these tragic events," they added.
  • Antov founded the Vladimir Standard meat processing plant and netted about $140M by 2019, making him one of Russia's richest lawmakers and civil servants. A member of Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin's United Russia party, he also chaired the committee on agrarian policy, nature management, and ecology.
  • In June, despite being a staunch supporter of Putin, Antov termed Russia's airstrikes on Ukraine an act of terrorism. He later denied having posted the anti-war message on WhatsApp, emphasizing he was a "patriot."
  • Several prominent Russian figures have died mysteriously this year. Many of the deceased were involved in the oil and gas industry, including the head of Russia's oil giant Lukoil, Ravil Maganov, who died in a fall from a Moscow hospital window in September.

Sources: Al Jazeera, CNN, Finance, Washington Post, BBC News, and UPI.

Narratives

  • Anti-Russia narrative, as provided by The Sun. Powerful Russians have frequently been dying violently or under mysterious circumstances since the start of Russia's assault on Ukraine. It's unsurprising then that Vladimir Putin, a former lieutenant colonel of the KGB and ex-head of the FSB, is famous for assassinating anyone who steps out of line. Pavel Antov is just the latest in a long list of Putin critics who have paid the price for speaking out against the Kremlin's maniacal leader.
  • Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by Economic Times. It's impossible to know if the string of unnatural deaths is merely a coincidence or conspiracy, since many oligarchs met their untimely ends outside Russia. While the circumstances of Pavel Antov's death are still being investigated, let's not forget he was a successful businessman, lawmaker, and philanthropist — his death is a tragic loss for Russia.

Predictions