Russian businessman Pavel Antov was staying at a luxurious hotel in India to celebrate his 66th birthday when he fell from the bedroom window. He was found dead at the scene and local police have stated that they believe there are no suspicious circumstances.
His death came just two days after his friend and travel companion, Vladimir Budanov, died of a stroke in his hotel room.
Who was Pavel Antov?
Pavel Antov, a member of President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, had been a deputy of a regional parliament 150km east of Moscow since 2018.
Before entering politics, he founded the food manufacturing company Vladimirski Standart, and in 2019 found himself at the top of the list of the richest deputies and politicians in Russia of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine.
What are the circumstances of his death?
Pavel Antov and his friends arrived in Odisha state in mid-December. They visited various sites before arriving at their hotel in Rayagada, India early last week.
The MP was staying at the luxury Hotel Sai International when he fell from the window and died. It has been speculated that his death was suicide following the tragic passing of his friend Bidenov just a couple of days prior.
Earlier this year in June, Antov reacted to a missile strike on a residential block in the Shevchenkivskyi district of Kyiv, saying, ““It’s extremely difficult to call all this anything but terror.”
Antov then retracted the comment he had reportedly made in a WhatsApp message, saying it was sent by someone else and that he was “a supporter of the president and my country’s patriot”.
Two days ago, Odisha police reviewed all CCTV footage and interviewed hotel staff pending detailed autopsies, but have so far found no clues to suggest Antov’s death was suspicious.
“All possible angles regarding the deaths of the two Russians are being checked,” regional police chief Rajesh Pandit told AFP.
The heart attack that caused Vladimir Bidenov’s death was likely caused by alcohol abuse and a possible drug overdose, he added.
As for Pavel Antov, “he was probably disturbed by the death of his friend and went to the terrace of the hotel from where he probably fell to his death”.
Antov’s is the latest in a series of mysterious deaths linked to Russian oligarchs and high-profile public figures.
Back in September, 67-year-old Ravil Maganov, chief of a Russian oil giant, fell from a hospital window in Moscow.
At the start of the year, no less than four executives linked to state-owned energy giant Gazprom were found to have committed suicide.