Russian journalist critical of Vladimir Putin found dead on his birthday with gunshot wound to his head

Alexander Shchetinin found dead with a gun near his body after friends tried to visit him at home

Rachael Pells
Sunday 28 August 2016 16:05
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Mr Shchetinin gave up his Russian citizenship before becoming a Ukrainian national and settling in Kiev
Mr Shchetinin gave up his Russian citizenship before becoming a Ukrainian national and settling in Kiev

A well-known Russian journalist and critic of President Vladimir Putin has been found dead in his Kiev apartment with a gunshot wound to the head.

The body of Alexander Shchetinin, founder the Novy Region (New Region) press agency, was found at his flat after friends tried to visit him on his birthday.

A police spokesperson said Kiev forces were alerted of Ms Shchetinin’s death at around midnight on Saturday. He is believed to have died a few hours earlier, between 8 and 9.30pm.

Officials have speculated that his death was caused by suicide, after a gun was found near his body along with spent cartridges, and the door to his apartment was said to be locked.

Local news source Kyiv Operatyvni reported: "Alexander was sitting on a chair, with a gunshot wound to his head, the gun was lying under the chair. According to credible sources, the case has been classified as suicide, as Alexander sent an email to one of his loved ones where he said he wanted to kill himself.”

Mr Shchetinin gave up his Russian citizenship before becoming a Ukrainian national and settling in the capital.

He set up the Novy Region news agency, which has since been split into different companies, and reportedly called the Russian president a “personal enemy”.

Ukrainian police are continuing to investigate the circumstances of Shchetinin’s death.

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