A former Russian officer who had criticised Vladimir Putin has been found dead in his home.
The bodies of Lieutenant-General Vladimir Sviridov, 68, and his wife Tatyana, 72, were discovered in their home in the Stavropol Krai territory, located in southwestern Russia.
Lt-Gen Sviridov and his wife had been dead for about a week when they were found, according to Russian news Telegram channel Shot.
Mystery surrounds their death, the exact cause of which remains to be determined.
Initial reports claimed there were no traces of violent death on the bodies.
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And gas workers looked for leaks or an excess of harmful substances in the home but didn’t find anything out of the norm, according to the news outlet.
The military man made himself known as a skilled pilot and rose through the ranks.
Among the medals he was awarded was the Order of the Red Star, a military decoration of the Soviet Union that used to be given to those who proved courage in battle, took part in successful operations or carried out outstanding service for the country.
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In 2005, Lt-General Sviridov was appointed by Putin to serve as a commander in the 6th Air Force and Air Defence Army. He retained the post until 2009.
But his relations with the Russian President seemingly turned sour as over the years he is reported to have made a series of scathing comments about the Russian army.
Speaking particularly about the air forces in Russia, Lt-Gen Sviridov believed many pilots were not given the appropriate training or brought to full combat readiness.
He also claimed the Kremlin was not providing his officers and soldiers with appropriate accommodation and living conditions.
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Lt-Gen Sviridov isn’t the first outspoken critic of Putin to have died in mysterious circumstances in recent years.
Among others, in December 2022, Russian tycoon Pavel Antov reportedly fell from a hotel window in Rayagada, India. A few months prior, he had denied criticising the Russian invasion of Ukraine after a message, later deleted, appeared on his WhatsApp account.
Lukoil chairman Ravil Maganov had called for the “soonest termination of the armed conflict” in Ukraine shortly after the invasion had begun. In September 2022, he reportedly died by falling out the window of a Moscow hospital.
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