Sunday, 22 July, 2018


Russian investigative reporter dies after fall, and some fear foul play

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Bennie Garza | 17 April, 2018, 11:03

A Russian investigative journalist who covered the deaths of mercenaries in Syria has died after falling from his fifth-floor apartment.

Local investigators said they were considering several possible causes of death but that no crime was suspected at this time, the BBC reported.

Borodin's friend, Vyacheslav Bashkov, wrote on Facebook that Borodin contacted him early in the morning on April 11 and said his building was surrounded by armed "siloviki", or Russian security services, wearing camouflage and face masks.

Russian Federation news reports citing police say the apartment was locked from the inside, however BBC reports a friend close to Mr Borodin as saying his flat had been surrounded by security men a day earlier.

He said that Borodin was alarmed, but not hysterical or drunk. Last October, an assailant reportedly hit Borodin over the head with a steel pipe shortly after he'd reported on a controversial movie about Tsar Nicholas II.

Polina Rumyantseva, the editor in chief of Novy Den, where Borodin worked, said the same day that she did not believe Borodin committed suicide. There was no suicide note in his apartment, either, police said.

An hour later, however, Borodin called back and said he had been mistaken and that the security officers were conducting some sort of drill.

Mr Borodin had also investigated political scandals including those made by a Belarusian escort known as Nastya Rybka in a video posted by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Meanwhile in February, Mr Borodin reported as many as 200 Wagner fighters killed in battle with United States soldiers in Syria.

On February 7, a group of Russian mercenaries with tanks and artillery attacked territory held by US -backed opponents of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In a statement on Twitter, Harlem Désir, the media freedom representative for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, an intergovernmental body, expressed "serious concern" about Borodin's death. He was one of 13 Russians indicted in February as a result of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation on charges he funded the "troll factory" in St Petersburg that allegedly tried to sway the USA presidential election in 2016.

"I call on the authorities for a swift and thorough investigation", he tweeted.

"This story is not about how the regime kills one journalist who writes on inconvenient topics", Volkov wrote on Facebook.

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