Nine Russians -- all in key positions -- have wound up dead in recent months
At least one appears to be an assassination
Nine high-profile Russians, including several high-profile diplomats, have died over the nine months since the US presidential election on November 8.
Among the recent deaths were six Russian diplomats. Some of the deaths appeared natural and governments have ruled out foul play.
In some cases, though, questions remain. That’s either because the facts have changed over time, details are hard to come by, or the deaths are still under investigation.
Self-proclaimed online sleuths and conspiracy theorists have filled the information void with speculation that the deaths were somehow related to Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. No evidence has surfaced to make such a connection.
Here’s a rundown of the nine deaths – and one near-fatality:
Russian ambassador to Sudan dies while swimming
Russia’s ambassador to Sudan, Migayas Shirinskiy, died in the Khartoum Wednesday August 23, according to Russia’s Foreign Ministry.
He died while swimming in the pool of his residence, according to state broadcaster Russia 24, after manifesting symptoms of an acute heart attack.
Embassy spokesman Sergei Konyashin said the staff called an ambulance but doctors were not able to save the ambassador. He was appointed to the post in 2013.
The Sudanese police have ruled out the possibility of an assassination attempt, Russia 24 reported, quoting local law enforcement agencies.
Russian politician who fled to Ukaine shot dead
Denis Voronenkov, 45, was gunned down Thursday outside a hotel in Kiev. Voronenkov and his wife both spoke out against Russian President Vladimir Putin after they left Russia for Ukraine in October.
Voronenkov also helped Ukraine in its ongoing fight against Russian influence, testifying in a treason trial against ex-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was perceived as a puppet politician for Putin.
Ukraine’s president called the shooting a “Russian state terrorist act.” Russian authorities denied the accusation.