Top Putin defence official, 58, plunges 160ft to her death from 16th-floor tower block window – the latest high-ranking figure to die in a mysterious fall
- Marina Yankina, 58, was discovered by a passerby at the entrance of a house
- She was a key figure in the funding of Vladimir Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine
A top defence official in Russia has been found dead after plunging from a high window in a tower block, in the latest mysterious death of a high-ranking official.
Marina Yankina, 58, was discovered by a passerby at the entrance of a house on Zamshina Street in St Petersburg. She is believed to have fallen 160ft to her death.
She was a key figure in the funding of Vladimir Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine.
Yankina was head of the financial support department of the Ministry of Defence for the Western Military District which is closely involved in the dictator’s invasion.
The Russian Investigative Committee and the press service of the Western Military District ‘Fontanka’ both confirmed her death, and are probing her mystery fall.
She is the latest of many Russians to have plunged to their deaths during Putin’s long rule. Just last week, Major General Vladimir Makarov – a Russian general who was recently fired by Putin – was found dead in a suspected suicide.
Marina Yankina (pictured), 58, was discovered by a passerby at the entrance of a house on Zamshina Street in St Petersburg. She is believed to have fallen 160ft to her death.
Before joining the Western Military region, Yankina worked in the Federal Tax Service, and also served as Deputy Chairman of the Property Relations Committee of St. Petersburg.
Suicide is suspected, according to reports, but this is often stated in such cases before any investigation is carried out, or the facts are known.
The woman is believed to have been at the centre of efforts to boost funding for the war unleashed by Putin almost one year ago, which has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and a series of military disasters for Putin.
Initial reports in Russia were conflicted over whether she either lived or worked in the St Petersburg building. Her personal belongings were found on the 16th floor, and it is believed she fell from there.
She was friendly with senior officials in Leningrad region, near St Petersburg, Putin’s birthplace.
Yankina is not the first death of a high-profile Russian to raise eyebrows, with dozens of Russian businessmen being found dead since the start of 2022 in unexplained circumstances. Many of which were officially reported as suicides.
From December 24 to 26, there was a string of four mysterious deaths.
On December 26, Pavel Antonov – the richest deputy of the Russian Duma (Russia’s parliament) and a Putin critic – died in India falling out of a hotel window.
His companion Vladimir Bidenov was found dead in the same hotel four days earlier.
Aleksey Maslov, 69, the former chief of Russian Ground Forces, died in hospital on 25 December while Aleksandr Buzakov – who had been the head of Russia’s ‘admiralty shipyards’ for a decade – died on December 24.
In July, 76-year-old Yevgeny Lobachev – a retired Major General of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation – was found dead in Moscow
His death was also ruled as suicide.
Other recent deaths have included the editor of a popular Russian propaganda magazine, the vice-president of Gazprombank and a senior Gazprom official.
One man burned alive after falling asleep with a lit cigarette in Moscow, another fell from a balcony, and another fell down a flight of stairs.
Suspicious deaths of notable Russians have not been confined to Russia’s borders. In April, Sergey Protosenya – Former Deputy Chairman of Novatek – was found hanged from a handrail. His wife and daughter were found killed with stab wounds.
Businessman Mikhail Watford was found dead at his home in Surrey, England, while another – Vladimir Bidenov – died in France after hitting his head on a railing.