Czech media: Russian diplomats die suspiciously too often

The average life expectancy of a man in Russia is 65.9 years but employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country die much earlier, Lidove Noviny writes. Case in point, eight acting Russian diplomats have passed away in less than a year.

Russian Ambassador to Sudan Mirgayas Shirinsky, according to Russian official sources, was the latest victim of stress, a destructive schedule and bad genes. As the newspaper recalls, colleagues found him dead in a residence in Khartoum. Sudanese police reports relate that the ambassador suddenly became ill when he was swimming in the pool. Later, Russian authorities confirmed that his death was caused by a heart attack.

"By the way, this is the most common cause of death for Russian men, especially for the diplomats. The total number of ambassadors, consuls and employees of the Ministry of various levels who died since November last year is many times higher than average statistics," the article says.

Even the American press paid attention to the sudden depletion of the ranks of Russian diplomats. Moscow completely rejected all speculation that heart problems could not have been the true causes of death. Indeed, there is no evidence that could have given the journalists any grounds for speculation.

Some of the deceased men could have been Russian spies under diplomatic cover. It is well known that work in special services is connected with huge risks. There is either no argument in favor of a theory about the liquidation of the disliked, traitors and defectors, although there have already been several such cases under Vladimir Putin, the newspaper asserts.

"To be frank, it is impossible to discern any conspiratorial elements in the deaths of the diplomats for the past ten months," the author claims, "although not all died a natural death."

The greatest attention was drawn to the violent death of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, 63-year-old Andrei Karlov who was the victim of an assault. Ironically, of all the others, this Russian diplomat’s death is the most natural. The motive for the crime was Russian participation in the Syrian conflict, and the crime itself was recorded on a camera. In all the other cases, the circumstances are vague, even taking into account that Russian men do die most often due to diseases of the cardiovascular system.

The ambassador in Sudan, Shirinsky, also reached a dangerous age of 62 years and had long suffered from hypertension. He died in 38-degree-Celsius weather in Khartoum. The same illness led to the demise of the Russian permanent representative to the UN in New York, Vitaly Churkin, on the eve of his 65th birthday.

Heart problems also caused the deaths of the Russian Federation Consulate General employee in Kazakhstan, Roman Skrylnikov, who died on December 26, 2016, and of the Russian consul in Greece, Andrey Malanin. A 67-year-old Russian ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin died in January of this year at the New Delhi hospital after "a short illness," reports say.

"One real mystery is the death of Petr Polshikov, a former employee of the Latin American Department of the Foreign Ministry. On December 19 last year, he was found shot in head in the bathroom of his Moscow apartment. The death of Sergei Krivov, who officially held the post of a "diplomat-commandant of the consulate in New York,” remains inexplicable.

The British Daily Mail reported that the 63-year-old Krivov used to perform special functions, ensuring security. On November 8, 2016, he was found unconscious in the building of the consulate. According to the first reports, he fell from a large height. Soon, the Russian Foreign Ministry changed the cause of death to a traditional "heart attack," the newspaper continues.

"Coincidences often happen in the world. However, this issue needs to be examined thoroughly," said Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, regarding the recent deaths of the Russian diplomats. Mowatt-Larssen held high posts in the US CIA for 23 years, giving him qualified insight into the deaths of diplomats.

"However, Russian political analysts object that even within the Russian environment, violent elimination of its own diplomats is a unique case, and that the real enemy of diplomats is smoking, frequent meetings and a constant fear of Vladimir Putin," Lidove Noviny concludes.

  Czech Republic, Russian diplomats