Russian entrepreneur and local lawmaker Pavel Antov — who criticized the Kremlin’s assault on Ukraine on one brief occasion — was found dead on Christmas Eve during a holiday in India, with authorities reportedly saying he fell from his hotel window.
A friend of Antov named Vladimir Budanov died in the same hotel just days earlier. Vivekanand Sharma, a police official in the Indian state of Odisha, said that Budanov suffered a stroke while Antov “was depressed after his death and he too died.”
Citing local police, Indian outlet NDTV reported that a Russian tourist had died after falling from the third floor of a hotel. The Russian consul in Kolkata, Alexei Idamkin, told the Russian state news agency TASS that police did not see a “criminal element in these tragic events.” Antov had just celebrated his 65th birthday in the hotel.
Antov, who made his €130 million fortune through a meat processing plant, was a local politician in the city of Vladimir, east of Moscow.
Last June, in a message from his WhatsApp account, Antov appeared to slam a Russian missile attack on a residential building in Ukraine, saying that “it’s extremely difficult to call all this anything but terror.”
Shortly after the message was deleted. Antov then posted on other social media that he was a supporter of the president, a “patriot of my country” and that the message had come from someone whose opinion on the “special military operation in Ukraine” he strongly disagreed with and that had accidentally been posted on his messenger.
The millionaire becomes the latest in a series of Russian tycoons who have died in mysterious circumstances, many of whom have openly criticized President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine. In September, the chairman of Russian oil giant Lukoil, Ravil Maganov, who called Russia’s invasion a “tragedy” and expressed sympathy for its victims, fell to his death from a hospital window in Moscow.