This article by Rebecca Cohen was originally published by Business Insider.
A second critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin died Sunday after falling out of a window, the Russian media outlet TASS reported.
According to reports, Pavel Antov fell from a hotel window in Rayagada, India, just days after celebrating his 65th birthday. He was visiting the state of Odisha in eastern India.
Antov was the chair of the committee on agrarian policy, nature management, and ecology of the Legislative Assembly of the Vladimir Region and was well-known in the area, according to TASS.
“Our colleague, a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist Pavel Antov passed away,” Vyacheslav Kartukhin, the vice speaker of the regional parliament, said on his Telegram channel, TASS reported. “On behalf of the deputies of the United Russia faction, I express my deep condolences to relatives and friends.”
The speaker of the legislative assembly, Vladimir Kiselyov, called Antov’s death a “difficult and irreparable loss” in a statement on the website of the regional parliament, TASS reported.
Antov was a known critic of Putin, the BBC reported.
The BBC reported that a since-deleted June WhatsApp message linked to Antov’s account — and shared after a Russian missile strike in Kyiv, Ukraine, killed a man and left his wife and 7-year-old daughter wounded — was seen as critical of Putin’s war in Ukraine.
“It’s extremely difficult to call all this anything but terror,” the WhatsApp message said.
Antov quickly deflected on social media, insisting he was a supporter of the war and Putin, adding that the message came from a war critic with whom he did not agree and it was all a misunderstanding, the BBC reported.
He is the second Putin critic to die after falling from a window this year.
In September, the Russian energy oligarch Ravil Maganov, 67, died after falling from a hospital window, Insider reported at the time.
The 67-year-old oil tycoon died after his oil company, Lukoil, released a statement expressing “deepest concerns” about the war in Ukraine.
A Russian traveling with Antov died Friday at the same hotel in India, The BBC reported.
The BBC reported Vivekanand Sharma, the Odisha police superintendent, said the man, Vladimir Budanov, died of a stroke. Sharma added that Antov “was depressed after his death and he too died.”
Alexei Idamkin, the Russian consul in Kolkata, told TASS that police did not see a “criminal element in these tragic events,” The BBC reported.
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