The former head of a Kremlin-affiliated technical institute died Wednesday in an apparent accident, according to TSWT — adding to the long list of Russian CEOs and officials who have met a mysterious end this year.
Russian news channel Izvestia reported that Anatoly Gerashchenko “fell from a great height” down numerous stairs at the headquarters of the Moscow Aviation Institute, according to The Daily Beast. The institute’s press service described his death as “the result of an accident.”
Gerashchenko, who led the organization from 2007 to 2015, served as an advisor to the institute’s current rector when he died, according to state-owned outlet RIA Novosti. He spent 45 years in the ranks there and was honored with government awards such as the Merit to the Fatherland Medal.
While the Moscow Aviation Institute may sound like a flying school, the university conducts research in areas with potential military applications, from avionics and aerospace to drones and artificial intelligence, according to Insider. It has ties to the country’s defense ministry.
The institute called Gerashchenko’s death a “colossal loss” and said it would set up an internal commission of inquiry. That panel would include members from multiple government agencies and the university itself, it said.
Gerashchenko is the latest in a string of high-profile Russians to have died under unexpected circumstances this year.
Ravil Maganov, who chaired Russia’s second-largest oil company, Lukoil, reportedly jumped to his death from the sixth floor of a hospital earlier this month. Billionaire Alexander Subbotin, a former manager at Lukoil, was found dead in a shaman’s home in May, according to Newsweek.
Meanwhile, local news reported that Leonid Shulman — a director of the country’s third-largest bank, Gazprombank — had hanged himself in his cottage in January, according to Reuters. The following month, former Gazprombank chief executive Alexander Tyulyakov was also found hanged, according to the New York Post.
Vladislav Avayev, the bank’s former vice president, was found shot to death next to the bodies of his wife and daughter in April. The next day, Sergei Protosenya – an ex-manager of Russia’s second largest gas producer, Novatek – was found hanged in a Spanish villa.
So far, authorities have not said that foul play caused the deaths of the men.