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Head of major Russian shipyard which built subs for India dies suddenly, same day Putin-critic Antov died in Odisha

Buzakov’s death was announced in Saint Petersburg on the day Antov (65), a millionaire, died after falling from the third floor of a hotel at Rayagada in Odisha
Last Updated 29 December 2022, 04:47 IST

Russia’s Admiralty Shipyards, which built most of the Indian Navy submarines, announced the sudden death of its Director General Alexander Buzakov on December 24 — the day Pavel Antov, a politician-cum-tycoon from Vladimir Oblast near Moscow, also died in Odisha in eastern India.

Buzakov had been heading the JSC Admiralty Shipyards, located in Saint Petersburg in Russia, since August 2012. His death was announced a day after he had presided over the launch of “Velikie Luki”, the third Project 677M (Lada-class) submarine built by the Admiralty Shipyards for the Russian Navy. The Admiralty Shipyards, one of the oldest and largest shipyards of the former Soviet Union nation, specialises in building diesel-electric submarines. It built at least 15 submarines for the Indian Navy.

Buzakov’s death was announced in Saint Petersburg on the day Antov (65), a millionaire, died after falling from the third floor of a hotel at Rayagada in Odisha. Antov’s friend Vladimir Bidenov (61) had died in the same hotel on December 22.

The CID of Odisha Police took over the investigation from local cops on Tuesday. Antov and Bidenov were accompanied by Pansasenko Natalia and Turov Mikhail, who were questioned by the detectives of the Crime Branch of the CID in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A tourist guide, Jitendra Singh, who accompanied the group to Rayagada, is also being questioned.

Buzakov and Antov were just the latest addition to the long list of Russia’s business leaders who died in the past few months since the former Soviet Union nation launched its war against Ukraine.

Alexander Tyulakov, the deputy general director of the Unified Settlement Center of Gazprom, was found dead at the garage of his residence in Saint Petersburg on February 25 — just a day after President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian Army to launch the “special military operations” in Ukraine. A suicide note was purportedly found on his body.

Vasily Melnikov, CEO of medical equipment company MedStorm, his wife and two sons, were found dead at an apartment in Nizhny Novgorod in western Russia on March 23.

The bullet-riddled bodies of Vladislav Avayev, the former vice-president of Gazprombank, his wife and his daughter were found at the family’s apartment in Moscow on April 18. Sergey Protosenya, former deputy chairman of Novatek bank of Russia, his wife and daughter were found dead in Spain the next day.

Ravil Maganov, the head of Lukoil (a leading oil and gas company in Russia), 67, died, purportedly after falling from the window of a hospital in Moscow. The company issued a statement on September 1, confirming his death, but just mentioned that he had passed away after a severe illness. Earlier, a former top executive of the same company, Alexander Subbotin, had been found dead in mysterious circumstances during a shamanic ritual at Mytishchi near Moscow in May.

Ivan Pechorin, the director of aviation of the Russian Far East and Arctic Development Corporation (KRDV), died after falling from his boat and drowning at Cape Ignatyev in Vladivostok. His body was found on September 10.

Antov, who died in Rayagada in Odisha, was the owner of a meat processing company in Vladimir Oblast. He was also a member of the regional legislative assembly. He had a few months back posted and then quickly withdrew a message that appeared to be criticising his country’s war against Ukraine.

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(Published 28 December 2022, 18:37 IST)

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