Russian Deputy Minister Kucherenko dead after flight from Cuba: he had criticized the war

Russian Deputy Minister of Science, Pyotr Kucherenko, 46, who fell seriously ill last Saturday on a direct flight from Cuba to Russia, died on his return. CNN reported it. The Russian politician died of still unknown causes, although family members spoke of cardiac arrest. Journalist Roman Super, who fled Russia shortly after the invasion of Ukraine, said on Telegram that he spoke with Kucherenko “a few days” before the escape, saying that the deputy minister – a war critic – feared for his safety. This is the latest chapter in a series of mysterious deaths among Moscow’s elite: since the beginning of the war, 13 members of the business world have died by suicide or for unexplained reasons, six of them employees of two of the main companies in the country’s energy (UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR, READ LIVE UPDATES).

Scheduled autopsy Wednesday 24 May

“Kucherenko felt ill while on a plane with a Russian delegation returning from a business trip to Cuba. The plane landed in the town of Mineralnye Vody, where doctors tried to render assistance,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that the politician could not be saved. Kucherenko’s family said his death could have been caused by a heart problem, but the results of an autopsy scheduled for Wednesday 24 May are awaited. Speaking to reporters today, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he did not know the cause of Kucherenko’s death.

Kureshenko called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “fascist”.

According to journalist Roman Super, in their last conversation dating back to February 2022, the minister urged him to “leave as soon as possible” and flee a country where the state is “brutish”. According to the reporter, Kureshenko confided that he takes antidepressants and tranquilizers, sleeps little, and that “everyone is taken hostage, no one can say anything, otherwise we’ll immediately be crushed like insects”. And that he couldn’t escape because Russian officials had been “taken from their passports”. Kureshenko also allegedly called the invasion of Ukraine “fascist”.