Third Russian found dead in India's Odisha state

Ship engineer's body discovered on vessel days after deaths of multimillionaire businessman Pavel Antov and his friend

The body of Pavel Antov, 65, was found on December 24 in a pool of blood outside his lodgings in eastern Odisha state, where he was on holiday with three other Russian nationals. AFP
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Indian police have found the body of a Russian man on a ship anchored at a port in eastern Odisha, a week after two Russian tourists mysteriously died in the state.

Milyakov Sergey, 51, was a chief engineer of the ship MV Aldanah, which was on its way to Mumbai from Chittagong in Bangladesh.

His body was found in the vessel at Paradip Port in Odisha on Tuesday morning.

Senior police officer Manoranjan Chaudhary told The National there were 21 crew members on board the vessel.

Mr Chaudhary said no formal report was registered as the shipping company, captain or other members had yet to file a case. The Russian embassy had not yet been informed, he said.

“Our team is at the spot. Once we receive a complaint, we will begin the investigation,” Mr Chaudhary said. “We will register an unnatural death case and then recover the body and conduct the postmortem to ascertain the exact cause of death.”

The police said after the postmortem, the body would be preserved in a morgue and later handed over to the family.

The vessel was reportedly contracted by an Indian steel manufacturer and it was scheduled on Tuesday to load iron ore at Paradip Port.

Mr Sergey is the third Russian man to be found dead in the state.

Two Russian tourists — one of them a sausage magnate and a politician — were found dead over two days at a hotel in the state's Rayagada district last week.

India is also investigating the death at a hotel of Pavel Antov, 64, one of Russia’s richest politicians. Photo: Twitter @olex_scherba

Pavel Antov, a member of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party and a multimillionaire, was on a trip to India with his friends for his 66th birthday when he was found dead.

Police initially said that Mr Antov was suffering from depression and killed himself after his friend Vladmir Budanov died.

The 61-year-old Budanov was also found dead on the first floor of the hotel.

Postmortem reports revealed that Mr Antov, who had briefly criticised Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, had suffered rupture of the left lung, liver and spleen, leading to haemorrhage and shock, causing death.

Mr Budanov is believed to have died of cardiac arrest.

Deaths of high-profile Russians reported

Several high-profile Russians, including tycoons and Putin critics, have reportedly died in mysterious circumstances, particularly since the war began in February.

At least seven cases have been highlighted by western media.

Dan Rapoport, a Latvian-born American who was a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was found dead after falling from his luxurious Washington apartment in August.

In September, Ravil Maganov, chairman of Russia’s largest private oil company Lukoil, died aged 67 after allegedly falling from a hospital window in Moscow while he was undergoing treatment.

His death came weeks after Ivan Pechorin, a top manager and a Kremlin critic died after allegedly falling off his luxury yacht and drowning near Cape Ignatyev in the Sea of Japan in September.

Updated: January 03, 2023, 9:18 AM