Anatoly Gerashchenko: Russian aviation expert is latest official to die under mysterious circumstances

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The former rector of the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) has died amid a recent string of mysterious deaths, according to a statement from the organization. among top Russian officials and leaders.

Anatoly Gerashchenko “died in an accident” on September 21 and had served as the institute’s rector from 2007 to 2015, according to the MAI website.

He spent 45 years of his life in the organization, worked his way up the institute and was a “doctor of technical sciences, professor [and] Advisor to MAI Principal,” it added.

The institute’s website added that a commission has now been set up to investigate the incident, which will include representatives from the Ministry of Education and Science, the Norwegian Labor Inspectorate and MAI.

Gerashchenko is at least the 10th influential Russian to reportedly die by suicide or in unexplained accidents since late January, with at least six of them linked to Russia’s two biggest energy companies.

Four of those six were linked to Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom or one of its subsidiaries, while the other two were linked to Lukoil, Russia’s largest privately owned oil and gas company.

Earlier this year, the company took unusual public attitude to speak out against Russia’s war in Ukraine, to call for sympathy for the victims and for an end to the conflict.

Chairman of Lukoil Ravil Maganov died in early September after falling from a window at a Moscow hospital, according to Russian state news agency TASS.

In mid-September, Russian businessman Ivan Pechorin, who is the head of the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, was found dead in Vladivostok, according to Russian state media. Pechorin drowned on September 10 near Cape Ignatyev in Vladivostok, regional media reported.

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