Suicide or Kremlin hit? Friends of Putin critic Dan Rapaport fear death

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Friends of a prominent Vladimir Putin critic who died in a luxury apartment building in Washington DC have raised concerns that he may have been the victim of a Kremlin-ordered murder.

Dan Rapoport, 52, was found dead by police on the evening of Aug. 14 after they were informed that a jumper had fallen from the 2400m apartment building in Georgetown.

The Latvian-American, who made a fortune working in Russia before leaving the country after falling out of favor with Mr Putin in 2012, had a cracked cell phone, glasses, a Florida driver’s license and $2620 ( £2,200) in cash when he died, a Metropolitan Police Department report obtained by: TBEN showed.

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His death is not treated as suspicious by the police.

An early supporter of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Rapoport was a prominent and respected member of the exile community who left Russia under threat of retaliation.

in a new one Politics According to the report, friends said they had seen signs that Mr. Rapoport was struggling to adjust to life in DC since moving there without his wife and young child.

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But given the long alleged history of state-sanctioned killings in the Kremlin, they said it was imperative that his death be thoroughly investigated.

Bill Browder, a former Moscow-based financier who campaigned for sanctions against Russia after the death of his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Russian prison, told Politics the police statement was “premature and useless”.

“I think the circumstances of his death are extremely suspicious,” Browder said.

He pointed out that the news of Rapoport’s death was first reported on Telegram by the former editor of Russia’s Tatler as alarm bells are ringing.

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Yuniya Pugacheva made several claims that turned out to be false, including that Mr. Rapoport’s dog was found in the park near his home in Washington DC with a suicide note.

American journalist and historian David Satter, who was expelled from Russia in 2013 for his critical reporting of the regime, told… Politics that there was nothing right about Rapoport’s death.

Rapoport’s death has raised concerns over Kremlin’s involvement

(Dan Rapoport/Facebook)

“There’s an old saying that anyone can kill, but it takes brains to commit suicide,” he said.

Friends said the mysterious death of a former Putin aide in Washington DC in 2015 showed that law enforcement officers were not always conducting thorough investigations.

Mikhail Lesin’s death was initially thought to have been the result of a heart attack, until a medical examiner discovered four months later that he had suffered blunt trauma to his head.

Police ultimately ruled that the death was due to injuries sustained from a fall after excessive alcohol consumption.

Another friend Yuri Somov told: Politics that suicide was a plausible explanation, as he had suffered a prolonged separation from his young family.

His widow Alyona Rapoport has only given one interview with Russian media in which she ruled out suicide as a possible cause of death.

Another friend, Ilya Ponomarev told: Politics he had spoken to Mrs. Rapoport, who claimed that her husband had not taken his own life.

But he was less sure. He said Rapoport looked sad and drank heavily when they met at a barbecue over the summer.

Fiona Hill, a prominent Russia expert who testified during Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, also downplayed the prospect of involvement with Moscow.

“Not every unexplained death in Russia is the KGB or the GRU repelling someone,” she said Politics.

Adding to the mystery was a message Rapoport posted to Facebook just days before his death of a photo of Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now.

“The horror, the horror,” the message read.

The Russian embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.

If you experience feelings of fear and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can talk to anyone for free, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email [email protected]or visit the Samaritans website for details of your nearest facility.

If you live in the US and you or someone you know currently needs mental health care, call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential emergency number that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are in another country, you can go to: www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.