Alexei Maslov is the latest high-profile Russian to die suddenly: What’s going on

Alexei Maslov is the latest high-profile Russian to die suddenly: What’s going on

Alexei Maslov, a former commander-in-chief of Russia’s ground forces, suddenly passed away in Moscow at 69. More than a dozen high-profile Russian figures including top officials and businessmen have died by suicide or under mysterious circumstances in 2022
FP Explainers December 29, 2022 15:00:50 IST
Alexei Maslov was former commander-in-chief of Russia’s ground forces and a representative to NATO. Image courtesy: @nexta_tv

Another high-profile Russian figure has died suddenly.

Alexei Maslov, a former commander-in-chief of Russia’s ground forces, passed away in Moscow on Sunday at the age of 69.

News of Maslov’s passing came a day after President Vladimir Putin abruptly cancelled a visit to the company where he worked.

Maslov’s death also comes after a slew of high-profile deaths including the head of a major Russian shipyard in St. Petersburg and a wealthy Russian lawmaker and businessman in India.

Let’s take a closer look:

Who is Maslov?

As per Yahoo News, Maslow was born in Kursk Oblast’s Panske village on 23 September, 1953.

Interestingly, Maslov had close links to Ukraine.

As per The Telegraph UK, his career kicked off in Soviet Ukraine at a top Kharkiv college for military commanders.

Markov was then stationed in the Carpathian mountains on the Romanian border.

Maslov served as commander-in-chief of Russian ground forces between 2004 and 2008, as per The Mirror.

He was also Moscow’s representative to NATO where he worked as a deputy to Dmitry Rogozin – an official said to be close to Putin – and a fierce backer of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Maslov retired from military service in October 2011, as per Yahoo News.

Maslov was working as an international sales representative at the company Uralvagonzavod, which is the world’s biggest tank manufacturer, as per Telegraph UK.

Uralvagonzavod said Maslov passed away on Christmas day at a Moscow military hospital.

No further details of his death were made available.

As per The Mirror, Putin was scheduled to visit Uralvagonzavod’s Nizhny Tagil factory – which has come under fire from the Kremlin for not producing enough new tanks for the Ukraine war effort.

Then, Putin abruptly cancelled his trip without any explanation from the Kremlin.

The Telegraph UK quoted the company in a statement as saying  Maslov was a “distinguished commander who made a valiant journey from a platoon commander to the commander-in-chief of the ground forces”.

Rogozin, injured in a Ukrainian artillery strike last week, called Maslov an “experienced officer, a demanding commander and a good person”.

Multimillionaire lawmaker, friend found dead at Odisha hotel

Maslov’s death is sure to raise eyebrows given that it comes so quickly after the deaths of other high-profile Russian figures.

As per CNN, at least a dozen Russian businessmen have reportedly died by suicide or in accidents in 2022.

Of these, six were associated with Russia’s two largest energy companies.

On Tuesday, Russian lawmaker and businessman Pavel Antov was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Odisha’s Rayagada.

Russian lawmaker Pavel Antov was found dead at a hotel in Odisha. Twitter/@igorsushko

Antov’s death came just days after his friend and travelling companion Vladimir Bidenov was found dead at the same hotel on 22 December.

The post-mortems of Antov and Bidenov revealed that they died from an internal injury after a fall and a heart attack respectively, police said on Wednesday.

Antov, a member of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party and founder of the sausage company Vladimir Standard,  died after allegedly falling from the hotel’s third floor on 24 December.

Antov was the owners of one of the leading manufacturers of meat sausages in Russia, as per Indian Express.

He was also chairman of the agriculture committee in the legislature in Vladimir region.

The lawmaker had in June criticised Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but quickly backtracked after being roundly criticised.

Vivekananda Sharma, superintendent of police, Rayagada, said Antov “was depressed” after Bidenov’s death.

“Four people came to stay in a hotel in Rayagada on 21 December. On 22 December morning, one of them (B Vladimir) died. After post-mortem, it was found that he suffered a heart stroke”, Sharma said, as per ANI.

His friend, (Pavel Antov) was “depressed after his death and he too died on 25 December,” the news agency quoted the police official as saying.

The hotel owner also claimed the Russian sausage tycoon was disturbed after his friend’s cremation, as per ANI.

Head of major shipyard dies suddenly

Alexander Buzakov, the head of major Russian shipyard that specialises in building non-nuclear submarines, died suddenly on Saturday.

The shipyard said Buzakov graduated in 1980 and had more than 40 years of experience, indicating he had been in his mid-sixties when he died. St Petersburg is the home city of President Vladimir Putin.

India Today quoted a Telegram channel as saying that Russia’s FSB was probing the deaths of Maslov and Buzakov.

The channel said Buzakov was healthy the day before he died, and “nothing had been heard about Maslov’s health problems.”

Admiralty Shipyards, based in the western port of St Petersburg, announced the death of Alexander Buzakov in a statement. He had been in the job since August 2012.

His main achievement, it said, had been preserving and strengthening the shipyard’s order books for modern non-nuclear submarines, surface ships and deep water vehicles.

Tass news agency said the shipyard is building improved Kilo-class diesel-powered submarines capable of launching Kalibr cruise missiles.

In April, Moscow said it had used a diesel submarine in the Black Sea to strike Ukrainian military targets with Kalibrs.

Oil giant head falls out of window

In September, Ravil Maganov, head of Russia’s oil giant Lukoil, died after reportedly falling out of a hospital window in Moscow.

The chairman of the board of Russia’s largest private oil company had in March criticised Russia’s military operation in Ukraine calling for “immediate cessation of the armed conflict.”

The state news agency Tass cited an unnamed law enforcement source as saying Maganov committed suicide while being treated at Central Clinical Hospital in Moscow.

The report said he had been admitted there for a heart attack and was taking antidepressants.

Lukoil released a statement saying Maganov “passed away after a severe illness” but did not elaborate.

His body was found on the grounds of the hospital, where Russia’s political and business elite are often treated, the reports said.

Anatoly Gerashchenko, the former rector of the Moscow Aviation Institute, also passed away in an accident in September.

As per Euronews, Gerashchenko, who headed the institute – which works with the Russian ministry of Defence and helped the development of MiG fighters – till 2015 fell down “several sets of stairs”.

As did Ivan Pechorin, a top manager at Russia’s Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic (KRDV).

According to RFERL, Pechorin’s body was found on 12 September after reports that he fell from a motorboat in the Sea of Japan.

In May, Aleksandr Subbotin, a former top manager at Lukoil, was found dead in the basement of a home in the town of Mytishchi near Moscow.

That came on the same day that Sergei Protosenya, a top manager at the Russian gas giant Novatek, Sergei Protosenya, was found dead at a rented villa in Lloret de Mar near Barcelona along with his wife and daughter.

In February, KVRD director general Igor Nosov passed away at age 43 – the reason given for his death was a stroke.

With inputs from agencies

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