Putin Ally Dies in Reported Stair Accident on Day of Russian Troop Mobilization


Anatoly Gerashchenko, a scientist with the Moscow Aviation Institute, reportedly died after plunging down “several flights of stairs” in Moscow, the institute said on Wednesday.

According to Newsweek, the university said the scientist “fell from a great height,” and his death, on the same date President Vladimir Putin announced a major military mobilization, has been declared an accident.

The instituted reported that paramedics were summoned when Gerashenko was found, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Russian state news outlet TASS reported that Gerashenko “died within the walls of the university.”

The press service of the university told TASS, “On September 21, 2022, Anatoly Nikolaevich Gerashchenko, Doctor of Technical Sciences, professor, adviser to the rector of the Moscow Aviation Institute, passed away as a result of an accident.”

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The statement continued, “At the moment, a commission is being formed to investigate this fact, which will include representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia, the State Labor Inspectorate in Moscow and the Moscow Aviation Institute.”

Newsweek reported that Gerashchenko had served as rector of the institute from 2007 to 2015 and that recent reports from Russian outlets indicated he was working as an advisor to the present rector, Mikhail Pogosyan.

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Several prominent figures in Russian political, business and academic circles have died under unusual circumstances since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, which began on Feb. 24.

According to CNN, citing TASS, an August 20 explosion claimed the life of Darya Dugina, daughter of the Russian nationalist philosopher Alexander Dugin, a man known as “Putin’s Brain” by Foreign Affairs.

On April 18, Vladislav Avayev, the 51-year-old former vice-president of Gazprombank, Russia’s third-largest financial institution, was found dead alongside his wife Yelena and their 13-year-old daughter Maria in their luxury Moscow apartment, according to The U.S. Sun.

Russian law enforcement sources told The Sun that a gun was found in Avayev’s hand, leading them to suspect a murder-suicide. Avayev was reportedly a major ally to Putin and was under western sanctions at the time of his death.

Newsweek reported that on Sept. 1, Ravil Maganov, chairman of Russia’s second-largest oil producer Lukoil, plunged from a hospital window in Moscow and was found dead. Maganov was the second Lukoil employee to die under unusual circumstances; former Lukoil manager Alexander Subbotin was also found dead in the basement of a home outside Moscow.

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The board of directors of Lukoil under Maganov had publicly come out against the Russian-Ukrainian conflict in March. “Calling for the soonest termination of the armed conflict, we express our sincere empathy for all victims who are affected by this tragedy,” the board said in a statement, according to Newsweek.

“We strongly support a lasting ceasefire and a settlement of problems through serious negotiations and diplomacy,” the Lukoil board wrote.

Gerashchenko is the ninth so far in an inexhaustive list of Russian oligarchs who have mysteriously perished since the invasion.

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