Russian defense official falls 160 feet to her death: Reports

The body of 58-year-old Marina Yankina was discovered on the pavement by a passerby shortly before 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning, according to the Independent citing local reports.

(NewsNation) — A high-ranking Russian defense official was found dead Wednesday after falling from a high-rise window in an apartment building, according to several reports citing Russian news Telegram channel Mash.

The body of 58-year-old Marina Yankina was discovered on the pavement by a passerby shortly before 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning, according to the Independent citing local reports.

She is believed to have fallen 160 feet from her home on the 16th floor in St. Petersburg.

Her personal belongings and documents were found on a balcony in the building, according to the New York Post citing local reports.

Her death has been described by several reports as a “suicide.”

Mash reported Yankina called her ex-husband and told him what she was about to do a few minutes before allegedly taking her own life.

Yankina was the finance director of the Western Military District. It is a position, Reuters reports, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has fired multiple times after a series of defeats and humiliations in the war in Ukraine.

“Considering the context of the failure of the Russian military in Ukraine, the increasing of domestic pressure on the Kremlin, because the standard of living of the average Russian has declined. It is very unlikely that all of these things happen randomly,” said Dani Belo, international relations professor at Webster University.

The death of Yankina is the latest in a series of high-ranking Russian officials to turn up dead in recent months.

Another alleged suicide by a Russian official took place just days ago when Major General Vladimir Makarov was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds, according to Russian state news agency TASS.

The report alleges the general was depressed after being let go from his post earlier this year.

“Once they’re fired, I think the perception is that they will then become the enemies, in which case they will have an opportunity to act against the kremlin,” Belo said. “And this is something that Vladimir Putin, especially in the context of this campaign in Ukraine, would like to avoid.”

And it isn’t just war officials who have been found deceased.

Pavel Antov, a business tycoon and Russian politician had been critical of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A message that appeared on his WhatsApp account said, “It is extremely difficult to call all of this anything but terror.”

The message was quickly taken down and Antov said he didn’t send it.

In December, while on vacation, he was suspiciously found dead at his hotel in India.

In the first seven months that Russia waged war on Ukraine, multiple Russian oligarchs were found dead, several supposedly by suicide or freak accidents.

The mysterious deaths, most of them linked to the oil industry, have raised eyebrows and speculation about whether the Kremlin might have been involved.

A critic of Putin and the chairman of Russia’s largest private oil company allegedly fell out a hospital window to his death in Sept. 2022, according to Russian news outlets.  

At least seven other Russian businessman, particularly from the energy industry, have turned up dead last year alone under unexplained circumstances, according to Reuters:

War in Ukraine

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