A prominent Ukrainian journalist and fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin was found dead in his apartment around midnight Sunday, just an hour after his birthday.
Alexander Shchetinin, founder of the Novy Region news agency, was found dead in his apartment by friends who had come to celebrate his birthday in Kiev, Ukraine, reported Kyiv Operatyvny news portal via Facebook Sunday. Shchetinin had a gunshot wound to the head, with a gun underneath his chair. A police spokesman estimated that Shchetinin was killed on his birthday Saturday, between the hours of 8 and 9:30 p.m. The case is being investigated as a suicide, as the journalist had reportedly told a relative via email he was planning on committing suicide.
Shchetinin’s criticism of Putin is well-known, having once called the Russian president a “personal enemy.” He created Novy Region after renouncing his Russian citizenship and settling in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian journalist joins an ever-growing list of Putin critics found dead under mysterious circumstances. Boris Nemtsov, a former Russian deputy prime minister and fierce Putin political opponent, was gunned down in the streets of Moscow in July. Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, who fell out of Putin’s favor, causing him to flee to the U.K., was found dead due to an alleged suicide in 2013.
Perhaps the most famous case is that of Alexander Litvinenko, who was assassinated in 2006 by drinking tea laced with the highly radioactive polonium-210. Litvinenko was a former Russian spy who had accused Putin of corruption and intentionally starting the second Chechen war in 1999.
The mysterious deaths have occurred across the globe, including in the U.S. Former Putin aide Mikhail Lesin was found dead in his Dupont Circle hotel room in March, mere blocks from The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Washington D.C. office. Medical examiners said Lesin died from blunt force trauma to the head, neck and torso. The case remains under investigation.
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