The death of a Russian colonel at a prestigious military academy is shrouded in mystery

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A top Russian officer reportedly died after being shot five times in his office at a prestigious military academy.

Reports in Russia claim Colonel Vadim Boyko, 44, entered his office at Makarov Pacific Higher Naval School on Wednesday morning, after which an officer on duty heard five gunshots and ran inside to find the colonel dead. Authorities found a Makarov pistol and bullet casings next to his body, according to Russian news outlet Pravda.

Some outlets questioned whether the Colonel had committed suicide, but the lack of a suicide note and the presence of multiple gunshots – and most of them in his chest – have suggested that this is unlikely. Detectives continue to work to determine what happened.

Boyko was involved in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s mobilization effort to recruit and bolster the armed forces, and his death will have a “demoralizing” effect on troop morale, according to Russia expert Rebekah Koffler.

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“Whether a suicide or an assassination, Colonel Boyko’s death is almost certainly extremely demoralizing for the Russian military, especially their troops on the ground,” said Koffler, a Russian-born former U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency officer. author of “Putin’s playbook” told TBEN News Digital.

Russian naval officers attend a graduation ceremony at Makarov Pacific Higher Naval School in Vladivostok, Russia, June 18, 2022.

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“Every serving Russian military officer is now in an untenable position because they know that sooner or later they will be deployed to the theater, which is pretty much a death sentence, with the way this war is unfolding, and that is a hard accept truth for the soldiers and their families,” Koffler said. “That’s why dozens of Russian men of military age are fleeing the country and some are probably even injured to avoid mobilization.”

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“Back in the USSR, we let young men go so far as to give themselves a concussion to avoid serving in the military, which was mandatory,” she continued. “It was also a catch 22 – you either had to go fight in Afghanistan or be subjected to brutal hazing, which is very common in the Soviet and now Russian military. Little has changed in that regard since the collapse of the Soviet Union. “

After a successful counter-offensive from Ukraine, Putin announced a partial mobilization of the armed forces, allowing him to recruit Russian men to serve in the increasingly depleted army.

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Putin claimed that conscription is “completely suited to the threats we face, namely to protect our homeland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to ensure the security of our people and people in the liberated territories”, but the effort turned out to be huge unpopular.

Neighboring countries saw a wave of migration as Russian men fled the country to avoid conscription and fighting in Ukraine.

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Another officer, Lieutenant Colonel Roman Malyk, 49, was found dead on a fence in the same area last month, according to the Daily Mail. Malyk was in charge of signing up for the mobilization effort.

Investigators ruled his death a probable suicide, though his friends and family disputed that finding.