Russian Aviation Expert Dies ‘After Falling Down Several Flights of Stairs’

The Moscow Aviation Institute said Anatoly Gerashchenko’s death was a “colossal loss.” He’s the latest in a string of high profile Russian officials to die in unusual circumstances in 2022.

A Russian aviation expert died after reportedly falling down several flights of stairs in the headquarters of the institute where he used to work, in what is the latest in a string of deaths of senior Russian officials in mysterious or suspicious circumstances.

The Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) said its former head Anatoly Gerashchenko “died as a result of an accident,” without elaborating. 

But according to Russian media reports, the 73-year-old died after falling to his death. Russian news outlet Izvestia cited an unnamed source who reported that Gerashchenko “fell from a great height.”

MAI has close connections with the Russian defence ministry, developing technology like drones and aerospace research. Gerashchenko had earned several awards from the Russian government, including the “Merit to the Fatherland” medal. 

The institute said Gerashchenko’s death was “a colossal loss.” In its statement, the MAI said it was forming a commission to investigate his death alongside representatives from the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, and the State Labour Inspectorate.

The incident comes weeks after Ivan Pechorin, an aviation director and executive tasked with Russia’s Far East development, died after falling overboard in a boat near Russky Island. Pechorin’s death came two weeks after another Russian official, Ravil Maganov, died in mysterious circumstances.

Maganov, the chair of Russia’s second largest oil producer, LUKOIL, was found dead after reportedly falling from a sixth floor window at Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital. 

Further back, Alexander Subbotin was found dead in May. Russian state media said the former Lukoil executive had been found dead in a shaman’s home where “voodoo rituals” had taken place. 

A month before, Vladislav Avayev, the former vice president of Gazprombank, a privately-owned subsidiary of Gazprom, was found dead along with his wife and daughter in Moscow from a gunshot wound. 

The deaths were branded as “murder-suicide” at the time – which is also how the death of Sergei Protosenya was described, whose body was found a day after Avayev’s in a villa in Spain, with his wife and daughter also found dead. He was a former deputy chair of the gas company Novatek. 

And in February, Alexander Tyulyakov, a Gazprom executive, was found dead by hanging in St. Petersburg, weeks after Gazprom Invest executive Leonid Shulman also allegedly killed himself at a cottage in the western Leningrad region.

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moscow, Ukraine, worldnews, Vladimir Putin

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