Pavel Antov, Russian sausage magnate, dies after hotel fall in India


Russian sausage magnate-turned-lawmaker Pavel Antov died in India on Saturday after falling from the third floor of his hotel, according to Indian police.

Antov’s death comes after his friend and traveling companion Vladimir Budanov died of a heart attack two days earlier on Antov’s 65th birthday, Vivekanand Sharma, a senior police official in India’s northeastern state of Odisha, said on Tuesday.

Budanov was 61 and had a pre-existing heart condition, Sharma said.

Police believe Antov died by suicide after falling from the third floor of his hotel in Rayagada district, although the autopsy report has not yet been released, Sharma said. He said the case had been classified as an “unnatural death” which includes accidental deaths and suicides.

Antov, who was a businessman and a member of a regional parliament in the Vladimir region of western Russia, celebrated his 65th birthday on December 22, according to Russian state news agency TASS.

In 2018, Antov topped the Forbes ranking of the 100 richest officials in Russia. According to Forbes Russia, in 2018 his income was about 9.97 billion rubles.

He was a member of the United Russia party in the Russian parliament, formerly led by Vladimir Putin and still vehemently supporting the Russian president.

Antonov pledged his support to Putin last June when he was forced to deny having posted an anti-war message on WhatsApp. He blamed a “regrettable misunderstanding and technical error” and said the status had been deleted.

Sharma said the Russian embassy was contacted and procedures were followed. Permission has been granted for the bodies of both men to be cremated, he said.

Russian Consul General in Kolkata Alexey Idamkin told Russian state media RIA Novosti on Monday that Odisha State Police and the Consulate General in Kolkata saw nothing suspicious in the deaths of two Russians in India.

“We are aware of the deaths of two Russian citizens. We are in contact with the relatives of these people and the police department of the city where it happened. We will provide all necessary paperwork assistance to the relatives of the deceased,” Idamkin told RIA Novosti.

At least a dozen high-profile Russian businessmen have reportedly died in suicide or unexplained accidents this year, six of them linked to Russia’s two largest energy companies.

Alexander Buzakov, the head of a major Russian shipyard specializing in the construction of non-nuclear submarines, died suddenly last week without authorities providing a cause of death, Reuters news agency reported.

Anatoly Gerashchenko, the former rector of the Moscow Aviation Institute, died in an unspecified accident in September, the institute said in a statement.

Lukoil chairman Ravil Maganov died in early September after falling from a hospital window in Moscow, according to TASS.

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

Another top Lukoil executive, Alexander Subbotin, was found dead near Moscow in May after reportedly visiting a shaman, TASS reported.

How to get help: In the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide can also provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.

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