Russian aviation scientist dies, adding to a series of suspicious deaths.
A top Russian aviation expert and scientist was found to have died this week under suspicious circumstances, his employer said, prompting the authorities to form a commission to investigate his death.
In the latest incident involving a high-profile Russian figure since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Anatoly N. Gerashchenko, the former head of the Moscow Aviation Institute, “died in an accident” on Wednesday, the institute said in a statement. He was 72.
Mr. Gerashchenko had worked for 45 years at the institute, the country’s most prestigious aviation engineering university, which spearheaded Russia’s achievements in aerospace technology and the development of cutting-edge jets and whose graduates often work in the Russian military-industrial complex. The university did not give any additional details about the cause of death, but it said that a multi-body government commission would be formed to investigate the incident.
Moskovsky Komsomolets, a popular Russian tabloid, reported that Mr. Gerashchenko had been overseeing the construction of the university’s new building. While visiting the construction site on Wednesday, he fell off a staircase that did not yet have railings installed, the newspaper reported, adding that he had been almost blind in one eye for some time.
Mr. Gerashchenko is the latest in a string of high-profile Russian individuals to die under murky circumstances in the months since the invasion of Ukraine.
On Feb. 25, one day after President Vladimir V. Putin ordered troops to cross the Ukrainian border, Alexander Tyulakov, a deputy general director of the treasury for Gazprom, Russia’s energy giant, was found dead in his garage near St. Petersburg, the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported. The report said he died by suicide.
In April, Vladislav Avayev, a former deputy president of Gazprombank, one of the largest Russian lenders and a bank with ties to Gazprom, was found dead in an apartment in Moscow along with the bodies of his wife and daughter. The investigators said it appeared that Mr. Avayev had fatally shot the other two before taking his own life, according to Kommersant, a Russian newspaper.
In May, the Russian state news agency Tass reported that Aleksandr Subbotin, a former Lukoil executive, had been found dead in the basement of a house in Mytishchi, a town outside Moscow. The police opened a criminal investigation, the report said.
At the beginning of September, Ravil Maganov, the chairman of Lukoil, Russia’s second-largest oil producer, fell out of a window at the Central Clinical Hospital, according to a report by Channel 1, the country’s leading state-owned television network.
And earlier this month, Ivan Pechorin, the director of the aviation department of the state-run Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, died, the company said in a statement. Deita, a regional news website, reported that he had drowned after falling from a speedboat at sea.