Indian police officials said Tuesday, that a wealthy Russian lawmaker and businessman was found dead at a hotel in India this weekend.
The death of Pavel Antov, a Russian sausage tycoon, came two days after another Russian, Vladimir Bidenov, was found unconscious after an apparent heart attack at the same hotel.
Bidenov could not be revived and died at the hotel in Rayagada region in eastern Odisha state.
“All possible angles as regards to the deaths of two Russian nationals are being verified,” regional police chief Rajesh Pandit said.
Antov was 65-years-old and made his fortune from a meat company — Vladimir Standard — he founded.
He arrived to Odisha in the middle of December and checked into the hotel with three other Russian nationals at the beginning of last week, police said. He was reportedly at the hotel to celebrate his birthday.
Antov has criticized the war in Ukraine, with media reports citing his online post slamming Russian missile strikes on Ukraine this June.
He reportedly wrote that, “A girl has been pulled out from under the rubble, the girl’s father appears to have died. The mother is being pulled out with a crane, she is trapped under a slab. To tell the truth, it is extremely difficult to call this anything other than terror.”
He soon deleted the social media post after facing backlash and called it an “unfortunate misunderstanding.”
Antov was a well-known regional lawmaker in a city called Vladimir, which lies east to capital city Moscow.
Russian state-owned TASS media reported that Antov “fell out of a window” from the hotel in Rayagada on Saturday.
Police chief Rajesh Pandit said it looked like Antov accidentally fell from the hotel terrace.
“He was probably disturbed by the death of his friend and went to the hotel terrace and likely fell to his death from there,” Pandit said.
Police added they were reviewing CCTV footage and questioning hotel staff, as well as waiting on detail autopsy reports to provide concrete answers to questions surrounding the deaths.
But, there was no sign of foul play from what they knew, Pandit said.
Antov’s death is the latest in a string of mysterious deaths of Russian nationals and businessmen since the war in Ukraine.
Alexander Buzakov, the director-general of a major Russian shipyard that specializes in building non-nuclear submarines died over the weekend, the shipyard announced in a statement without offering details.
In September, Ivan Pechorin, the top manager for the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, was found dead in Vladivostok, a major Pacific port city in Russia. Russia media said Pechorin died after drowning near Cape Ignatyev in the Sea of Japan.
Also in September, the chairman of Russia’s largest private oil company Lukoil, Ravil Maganov, was found dead after falling out of a window. Russian media later reported he took his own life.
In May, Alexander Subbotin, a former top manager of Lukoil, was found dead in a house near Moscow, according to Russian media. Other Russian businessmen and people with ties to Russia’s military-industrial complex have also been reported dead in recent months.