Top Russian aviation scientist dies under mysterious circumstances after ‘falling from a great height’

An aviation expert is the latest Russian official to die under mysterious circumstances. Anatoli Gerashchenko, former director of the Moscow Aviation Institute, died Tuesday in a strange fall inside the agency’s headquarters in the Russian capital.

Gerashchenko, 72, “fell from a great height” down “several flights of stairs”, according to official sources, who described his death in the Russian capital as an accident. The institute also said emergency services were called to the scene but Gerashchenko was pronounced dead on the spot.

“For now, a commission is being formed to investigate this fact, which will include representatives of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, the State Labor Inspectorate in Moscow and the Moscow Aviation Institute,” the institute told Russian state news agency Tass.

Gerashchenko had been rector of the Moscow Aviation Institute, which has ties to the Russian Defense Ministry, from 2007 to 2015. Recent reports in the Russian media indicated that Gerashchenko was working as an adviser to the current rector, Mikhail Pogosyan. He had also been honored with various awards from the Russian government, including the ‘Merit to the Fatherland’ medal.

Gerashchenko is the latest of several Russian businessmen, prominent figures and former allies of Vladimir Putin to have died in mysterious circumstances since the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, and the third this month.

Just a week ago, it was reported that businessman Ivan Pechorin was found dead in the Russian far eastern city of Vladivostok. The death of Pechorin, an executive of the Russian Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, was reported by his company on September 12.

According to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, Pechorin drowned.

“Iv├ín’s death is an irreparable loss for friends and colleagues, a great loss for the corporation. We offer our sincerest condolences to family and friends,” a statement from the company said.

Earlier this month, the president of the Russian oil company Lukoil, Ravil Maganov, died after falling out of a window at the Moscow Central Clinical Hospital where he was admitted.

Leonid Shulman, head of transportation for Gazprom Invest, was found dead at his country house in the village of Leninsky, near Leningrad, on January 30, 2022.

At least six other Russian oligarchs have died in mysterious circumstances almost since the war in Ukraine began. What they all had in common was their immense wealth, their ties to the gas industry and their stance against Russian invasion, despite their close ties to the Kremlin.

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