Russia’s wealthy lawmaker and critic of Putin's Ukraine war found dead in India
One of Russia’s wealthy lawmakers and a fervent critic of President Vladimir Putin, Pavel Antov, was founded dead after mysteriously falling from a hotel in India’s eastern Odisha state.
The multi-millionaire was on holiday in Rayagada region where he was celebrating his upcoming 66th birthday.
Though local media reports claimed that he jumped from the roof, Russia’s consul general Alexei Idamkin told TASS news agency that he “fell” from a window.
“We are closely following the investigation and receiving all the information from the Odisha police,” the envoy was quoted as saying.
It comes two days after the mysterious death of his party colleague, Vladimir Budanov, 61, who is said to have died from a heart attack on Thursday.
Antov was one of the staunch opponents of Putin’s war on Ukraine. In June, in a blog post, he criticised the war and air strikes on Kyiv as Russian “terror”.
Eventually, he had to retract his statement after coming under immense pressure. Western media reported that he issued a “grovelling apology”.
He claimed that his post had been “an unfortunate misunderstanding” and a “technical error”.
The 65-year-old insisted that he had “always supported the president” and “sincerely” supports Putin’s military operation. However, local journalists strongly disputed his version.
According to the website of the legislature, Antov was the founder of the Vladimir Standard group of companies, which in a few years has become one of the most successful and significant industries in the Vladimir region. He was also a philanthropist, public figure, traveller, and member of international organisations and friendly societies.
The Vice Speaker of the Regional Parliament, Vyacheslav Kartukhin, on his Telegram channel, condoled the demise of Antov.
"Our colleague, a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist Pavel Antov passed away. On behalf of the deputies of the United Russia faction, I express my deep condolences to relatives and friends," Kartukhin said.