Yevgeny Prigozhin was not the first person to die under suspicious circumstances in Russia. Multiple Russian officials have died mysteriously in the country, who have opposed Russian President Vladimir Putin in some way or the other.
Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group, was among the passengers listed on a plane that crashed in Russia’s Tver region on Wednesday, as confirmed by Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency. The crash near the town of Kuzhenkino claimed the lives of ten individuals, including Prigozhin.
He gained notoriety for openly criticizing military authorities and for orchestrating an attempted coup against Russian leadership in June, which ultimately led to his and his troops’ exile to Belarus. However, Prigozhin’s location and well-being have remained uncertain since his exile. Surprisingly, he met with Putin in person only days after the failed mutiny.
Here is the list of some officials who were found dead mysteriously in Russia.
Pavel Antov, the Russian tycoon, allegedly fell from a hotel window in Rayagada, India, on December 25, shortly after celebrating his 65th birthday in December 2022. Notably, the political figure and millionaire had previously voiced criticism of Putin’s conflict in Ukraine via WhatsApp, shortly after a missile attack in Kyiv. However, he swiftly retracted the message, attributing it to someone else.
Ravil Maganov, like Antov, died in September 2022, with reports stating that he had fallen from a Moscow hospital window. However, a statement by Lukoil, which has since been removed, indicated that the 67-year-old had died “following a serious illness.” He had been notably vocal in his criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Businessman Dan Rapoport was found deceased in front of an apartment building in Washington, D.C. in August 2022. He had repeatedly voiced his strong condemnation of the Russia-Ukraine war on various social media platforms, emphasizing his unwavering support for Ukraine.
Russian media magnate Mikhail Lesin was found dead in a hotel room in Washington, D.C., in November 2015. He was stated to have “blunt force trauma to the head.” Shockingly, not long before his death, Lesin—the creator of the English-language television network Russia Today (RT)—was purportedly considering the prospect of making a deal with the FBI to protect himself from accusations of corruption.
Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister of Russia during Boris Yeltsin’s tenure, was shot four times in the back in 2015, right outside the Kremlin, killing him. This tragic event occurred as he was walking home from a restaurant. He was transitioned into a prominent critic of Vladimir Putin. He openly accused Putin of being swayed by and having close relations with oligarchs.