Russian Exile Found Dead In His Home In London

REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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A Russian exile on the run from Moscow was found dead in his home in London, British media reported, citing his lawyer.

Russian fugitive Nikolai Glushkov’s, a close friend of deceased Putin critic Boris Berezovsky, was discovered dead Monday. The cause of death is still unknown.

The former businessman’s death comes amid rising tensions between London and Moscow over a nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. The attack was carried out with a nerve agent called Novichok, which was developed by the Soviet Union in the latter years of the Cold War.

Russia has denied any involvement in the attack, but the British government is crying foul. The incident is in many ways reminiscent to the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, who was killed with polonium, a highly radioactive isotope, a little over a decade ago.

British authorities are re-investigating 14 suspicious deaths that U.S. intelligence sources have reportedly linked to the Russian government. Berezovsky is among the alleged victims.

Berezovsky was once one of the most powerful businessmen in Russia and contributed to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rise in the late 1990s. He, however, lost Putin’s favor and fled to London, where he often criticized the Russian government.

When he was found dead, hanging in his home in Berkshire, his death was declared a suicide. Others, including the coroner, left the door open for other potential causes of death.

Glushkov sought political asylum in the United Kingdom after spending five years in jail on charges of money laundering and fraud, charges he claimed were unsubstantiated. He was sentenced to eight years in prison by a Russian court for the theft of millions of dollars from Aeroflot when he served as its director in 2017.

He denied all the charges against him.

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