Russian top diplomat found dead in Istanbul hotel
A senior Russian diplomat, Nikolai Kobrinets, was found dead in a hotel in Turkey. The 61-year-old head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department for Pan-European Cooperation had arrived in Turkey to participate in a summit of ambassadors from different countries but did not show up for the scheduled morning meeting, after which his colleagues raised the alarm.
Russian media and official statements have already claimed that Kobrinets died of a heart attack, but Turkish police have launched an investigation into the suspicious death of the high-ranking diplomat. This was reported by The Sun.
It noted that the death of senior Russian diplomat Nikolai Kobrinets, who was found dead in the hotel room in Istanbul where he had checked in the day before, was the subject of an investigation by Turkish police.
The diplomat arrived in Turkey to participate in the Ambassadors Summit, but the day after he checked into the hotel, on October 12, he did not show up for a morning meeting with his colleagues. They were worried and started looking for Kobrinets.
They found him in bed in his hotel room with no signs of life.
There were no signs of violence, so he probably died as a result of a heart attack, as already announced in the obituary published by the Russian Foreign Ministry. However, Turkish law enforcement officials are checking other, much less natural causes of the high-ranking diplomat's death.
"According to initial reports, he died of a heart attack, but the investigation is ongoing. The police are investigating, and his body was taken to the morgue of the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Bahçelievler Yenibosna. An autopsy is to be performed, while the police are checking his hotel room for fingerprints and studying the CCTV footage," the publication said.
The newspaper emphasizes that the case of the Russian diplomat was another link in a long chain of suspicious deaths of Russian officials and businessmen.
"Security experts have accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of running a 'mafia' state, using assassinations as a tool to defeat enemies and keep allies in line. In August, the leader of Wagner's group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, became one of the latest to join the list of high-profile deaths... Dozens of prominent figures have died since Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine last February. Many of them died amidst mysterious and sudden circumstances, including 'suicides' and falls from windows. The Sun Online has counted at least 40 suspicious deaths since January last year," the newspaper writes.
Among the deaths that The Sun considers suspicious are not only Prigozhin but also Russian oligarch Sergei Grishin, who died of "sepsis" after criticizing Putin, as well as Russian inventor of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine Andrei Botikov. He was found in his apartment strangled with a belt.
Kobrinets, who died in a Turkish hotel room, worked in the Russian Foreign Ministry system in various positions in the central office and abroad for many years.
For example, he served as Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the European Union in 2006-2011, as Deputy Director of the Department for Pan-European Cooperation in 2011-2012, and as Deputy Director of the Department for International Cooperation of the Russian Government until 2019.
The last position Kobrinets held in 2019 was the head of the Department for Pan-European Cooperation at the Russian Foreign Ministry.
As a reminder, on October 5, the Russian dictator voiced an extravagant version of the crash of a private jet with the leadership of the Wagner PMC on board. According to Putin, the investigation allegedly found that the cause of the crash was a grenade explosion on board the plane. Prigozhin and Utkin, the dictator said, blew themselves and other passengers, as well as crew members, up under the influence of drugs.