An aviation expert has become the latest Russian official to fall to his death in mysterious circumstances.
Anatoly Gerashchenko, the former head of Moscow’s Aviation Institute (MAI), died in a mysterious fall inside the institute’s headquarters in the Russian capital on Tuesday.
The organization’s press office released a statement describing the 73-year-old’s death as “the result of an accident,” adding that his untimely demise was a “a colossal loss for the MAI and the scientific and pedagogical community.”
Russian news outlet Izvestia, citing an unnamed source, reported that Gerashchenko “fell from a great height” and careened down several flights of stairs. He was reportedly pronounced dead at the scene.
A commission is reportedly being established at the institute to look into the circumstances of his bizarre death.
Gerashchenko, who more recently served as an adviser to the current head of MAI, spent his career rising through the ranks at the institute, which has close ties with the Russian defense ministry. He had also been honored with several awards from the Russian government, including the “Merit to the Fatherland” medal.
His death comes less than two weeks after an executive appointed to help oversee development in Russia’s Far East died in a strange fall from a moving boat just days after attending an economic forum with Putin. Theirs are just the latest in a string of odd deaths among officials and executives in Russia’s energy and technology industries.