Pavel Antov, a politician, businessman and critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was discovered in a pool of blood outside a hotel in India days after his friend died at that same hotel.
“So far, it seems that Antov accidentally fell from the hotel terrace.” the police chief of the eastern Odisha state, Rajesh Pandit, told Agence France-Presse after Antov’s death on Monday. “He was probably disturbed by the death of his friend and went to the hotel terrace and likely fell to his death from there.”
His friend, Vladimir Bidenov, apparently had a heart attack, possibly caused by binge drinking and drugs, and died two days earlier, Pandit said.
Antov and his friends had been in that region of India since mid-December, the official said.
Before becoming a legislative assembly member for the Vladimir Region, Antov, 65, founded a food processing plant and went on to become the richest Russian civil servant in 2019 with an income of 9.97 billion rubles or $137 million at Wednesday’s exchange rate.
Antov served as a member of the United Russia party, which was once led by Putin and is still supportive of him.
In June, he voiced his support for Putin while denying posting an anti-war message on WhatsApp. He said the status was deleted and it had been the result of an “unfortunate misunderstanding and a technical error,” CNN reported.
Antov’s death follows that of several other prominent Russian businessmen.
Ravil Maganov, chair of Russia’s largest private oil company Lukoil, died in September after falling out of a Moscow hospital window, months after his company criticized the invasion of Ukraine.
Alexander Subbotin, another Lukoil manager, was discovered dead in Moscow in May after he reportedly visited a shaman, state-media outlet TASS reported.