A Russian diplomat went missing in Turkey during a scheduled meeting and his body was later found in his hotel room after he suspiciously died from a heart attack.
This is hardly the first time that a high-level Russian has appeared to commit “suicide.” The police in Turkey are now ostensibly conducting an investigation into Nikolai Kobrinets’ untimely death. He was 61 years old and the head of the Russian foreign ministry’s department for pan-European cooperation.
The senior Moscow diplomat’s absence was noticed by his comrades who were alarmed when he didn’t show up at a meeting on Friday morning.
Kobrinets was found in his hotel room in Istanbul’s Taksim district in his bed. It’s alleged that he died from a heart attack, according to Turkish news outlet Hurriyet. Investigators say there were no signs of violence.
Russian diplomat was found dead in a hotel room in Turkey – NTV channel
It is about the head of the Department of pan-European cooperation of the Russian Foreign Ministry Nikolai Kobrinets. The diplomat arrived in Istanbul for a meeting of ambassadors. Colleagues tried to call… pic.twitter.com/1xsZXNzCap
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) October 14, 2023
An autopsy was performed at the morgue of the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Bahçelievler Yenibosna. While that took place, police checked his hotel room for fingerprints and CCTV footage, Hurriyet reported.
The envoy’s mysterious death was confirmed by the Russian Foreign Ministry’s press service. No details were released regarding the case.
“Describing him as a ‘talented diplomat’ who had ‘devoted his entire working life to protecting the foreign policy interests of the motherland,’ the foreign ministry said he had been awarded the Medal of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland as well as a certificate of honor from President Vladimir Putin,” the statement gushed.
“The bright memory of Nikolai… will forever remain in our hearts,” it added.
Nikolai Krobrinets, a Russian diplomat, was supposed to attend the ambassador’s reception in Istanbul, Turkey, but was found dead in his hotel room. #UkraineRussiaWar️️ #UkraineWar #Ukraine #Verbove #Novoprokopivka #Robotyne #Tokmak #Andriivka #Kurdjumivka #Russian #Opytne… pic.twitter.com/2TSCBSxP7O
— Justus Uwakwe (@JustusUwakwe) October 15, 2023
This is not the first Russian envoy death in Turkey either. Russia’s ambassador to Ankara, Andrei Karlov, died in December 2016 after he was fatally wounded by police officer Mevlut Altintas at a photo exhibition in the capital.
“President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tried to attribute the assassination to the trans-national Turkish opposition Gülen movement but there was no evidence for this. In 2021, five people were sentenced to life imprisonment over the murder,” Newsweek reported.
“The death of Kobrinets is the latest death of a Russian official since the start of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Many of the deaths have occurred in mysterious circumstances, including apparent suicides and falling from windows,” the news outlet noted.
Other high-profile deaths include Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was the former head of the Wagner Group of mercenaries. He died in a plane crash two months after he had staged a mutiny against Russia’s military establishment and his long-time friend, President Vladimir Putin.
Putin suggested the plane explosion that killed Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and 9 others in August was likely caused by drunk or high passengers on the plane playing with hand grenades mid-flight, when the Kremlin is widely believed to be responsible for the incident pic.twitter.com/0HsWdGZerj
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 10, 2023
The former head of the Moscow Aviation Institute Anatoly Gerashchenko also met an early death. Investigators claim he fell down a set of stairs in September 2022.
“In March 2023, Andrey Botikov, one of the scientists who developed the Sputnik V vaccine at the Gamaleya National Research Center, was found strangled in his apartment,” Newsweek recounted.