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Russians Keep Mysteriously Falling from Windows to Their Deaths

Newsweek 2022-09-01 Khaleda Rahman
Kremlin's Spasskaya tower is reflected on a window in downtown Moscow on April 17, 2022. © Kirill Kudryavtseva/AFP via Getty Images Kremlin's Spasskaya tower is reflected on a window in downtown Moscow on April 17, 2022.

Ravil Maganov, the chairman of an oil company that criticized Russia's invasion of Ukraine, reportedly died on Thursday after falling from a hospital window.

Although the cause of his death has not yet been confirmed, he is the latest in a series of prominent Russians who have died in seemingly similar circumstances.

Lukoil, Russia's second-largest oil producer confirmed Maganov's death, saying it came after "a serious illness."

However, Russian media reported that he had been found dead by medical personnel after falling out a sixth-floor window of a Moscow hospital.

This follows a number of cases of prominent Russians dying after falls from windows.

In December 2021, Yegor Prosvirnin—the founder of nationalist website Sputnik and Pogrom—died after falling out of a window of a residential building in the center of Moscow.

He allegedly threw a knife and gas canister out of the window before the fall, BBC News reported.

Prosvirnin had supported Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 but later began to predict a civil war and the collapse of the Russian Federation.

On October 19, 2021 a Russian diplomat was found dead after a fall from a window of the Russian embassy in Berlin, Der Spiegel reported.

The man was a second secretary at the embassy, but German intelligence sources told the newspaper they suspected he was an undercover officer with Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB).

Investigative outlet Bellingcat said it used open-source data to identify the deceased man as Kirill Zhalo, the son of General Alexey Zhalo, deputy director of the FSB's Second Service.

In late December 2020, Alexander "Sasha" Kagansky, a top Russian scientist reportedly working on a COVID-19 vaccine at the time, was found dead with a stab wound after falling from his high-rise apartment in St. Petersburg.

According to Russian outlet Fontanka, the suspect, a childhood friend of Kagansky, told police that Kagansky stabbed himself then jumped to his death.

There were also reports of health care workers falling out of hospital windows—some to their deaths—in Russia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two Russian doctors died and another was seriously injured after falls from hospital widows over a two-week period between April and May 2020. Reports said two of the doctors had protested working conditions and the third was being blamed after her colleagues contracted the virus.

And in July, Dan Rapoport, a 52-year-old Latvian-American investment banker and outspoken Putin critic, died after a fall from a luxury apartment building in Washington, D.C.

Police say they didn't suspect foul play, Politico reported, but the case remains under investigation.

Rapoport's friends fear he was assassinated, with one telling The Daily Beast that the circumstances of his death are "highly suspicious." Rapoport had made a fortune working in Moscow before falling out of favor with the Russian government, according to reports.

Rapoport's former business partner, Sergei Tkachenko, fell to his death from a Moscow apartment building in 2017.

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