President Trump hits out at Russian and Chinese currency devaluations

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 17, 2018

A Russian investigative journalist who covered the deaths of mercenaries in Syria has died after falling from his fifth-floor apartment. Local police said they did not see any foul play, but his death prompted intense speculation among friends and colleagues.

Vyacheslav Bashkov said Mr Borodin had contacted him at 5am on April 11, saying there was "someone with a weapon on his balcony and people in camouflage and masks on the staircase landing". One friend, Paulina Andreevna, said in a Facebook post that Borodin had been hospitalized earlier this month after a stranger attacked him outside his home.

However Novy Den's editor said he did not believe the death could have been an accident and he didn't think Borodin was suicidal, the BBC reports. There was no suicide note in his apartment, either, police said.

But Borodin later called back to say he may have been mistaken about the masked men and that they were security personnel taking part in a training exercise, Bashkov said.

"As Maxim had big plans for his personal life and career, there is nothing to support a verdict of suicide", she told CNN. But he also suggested that the journalist most likely committed suicide out of desperation: Volkov said that Borodin wanted to move to Moscow, hoping to find an outlet that would give him more freedom to write.

The group is reportedly bankrolled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as "Putin's chef" with links to the Kremlin.

Mr Prigozhin was indicted by the USA in February on charges that he funded the "troll factory" alleged to have tried to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Thousands of Wagner mercenaries are allegedly involved in military operations in Syria.

On February 7, a group of Russian mercenaries with tanks and artillery attacked territory held by USA -backed opponents of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. As the New Yorker noted, it was the first time in half a century that Russian and USA military forces had engaged in direct combat.

In a statement on Twitter, Harlem Désir, the media freedom representative for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, an intergovernmental body, expressed "serious concern" about Borodin's death.

Only a dozen deaths were confirmed by Russian authorities, however Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo said that "a few hundred" Russians were killed.

"This story is not about how the regime kills one journalist who writes on inconvenient topics", Volkov wrote on Facebook.

Russia ranks first on the European Federation of Journalists list of countries with the highest number of journalists murdered in Europe.

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