Pavel Antov

Russian politician who criticised Putin found dead after mysterious ‘fall from window’

The ‘highest-earning elected politician’ of Russia, who had criticised Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as “terror” has been found dead after a mysterious fall from a hotel in India.

The main pro-Putin party, United Russia’s sausage multi-millionaire Pavel Antov, had been on a holiday to celebrate his impending 66th birthday.

Vladimir Putin at the Collective Security Treaty Organisation summit at the Kremlin in Moscow
Source: Reuters

The politician is the latest of a string of high-profile Russians, critical of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, to have met their death following a mysterious fall.

One of his male friend’s had died “from a heart attack” on Thursday last week in Antov’s party, and the wealthy regional politician perished two days later.

The married tycoon, who is an MP in the legislative assembly in Vladimir region, was listed as Russia’s highest-earning elected official in 2019.

Pavel Antov

Indian media reports say the Antov “jumped” from the roof of the hotel and was found in a pool of blood.
But the Russian Consul General in Calcutta Alexei Idamkin told TASS that the Russian meat mogul “fell” out of a hotel window in Rayagada, Odisha state.

Alexei Idamkin said: “We are closely following the investigation and receiving all the information from the Odisha police.”

Antov’s Indian guide rushed him to hospital but he was declared dead by a doctor.

The politician’s friend has been identified as Vladimir Budanov, 61, a fellow Russian.

The remaining two men in the group remain unidentified.

Antov criticised the war and air strikes on Kyiv as Russian “terror” wounding Ukrainian civilians on social media in June.

He highlighted a Russian missile strike and said: “A girl has been pulled out from under the rubble, the girl’s father appears to have died…

“The mother is trying to be pulled out with a crane – she is trapped under a slab. To tell the truth, it is extremely difficult to call this anything other than terror.”

He seemingly then came under intense pressure after which he withdrew the comment and made a forced apology.