A police lieutenant colonel has become the latest Russian official to mysteriously fall from a window amid the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, local media reported Monday.
The 45-year-old woman, identified solely as Yulia B. by local authorities, allegedly fell from the fifth floor of Moscow City Clinical Hospital No. 24 on the evening of May 30th, where she was being treated for the coronavirus. She was described as a senior expert for the Forensic Center of the Interior Ministry, a government agency.
Initially, reports suggested that she had died on impact, although these have since been contradicted by claims that she survived, but is currently being treated at an intensive care unit.
According to Komsomolskaya Pravda, the policewoman left her ward to go into the corridor and consequently “fell” from the window and landed on the grass below. There has been no information on what caused her to fall.
The incident comes after three Russian health workers fell out of windows over the past two months in mysterious circumstances during the coronavirus outbreak. All three of them had also expressed concerns about the Kremlin’s response to the pandemic.
The most recent of these victims is 37-year-old Alexander Shulepov, who last month fell from the second floor of a hospital in rural Voronezh, breaking several ribs and suffering a skull fracture. He is understood to have survived his injuries.
In April, the acting head doctor of a hospital in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Elena Nepomnyashchaya, died soon after another supposed fall from a window at the hospital where she was in charge. Before the incident, she had complained about her staff being forced to treat coronavirus patients without the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).
The previous day, Dr. Natalya Lebedeva — the head of the emergency medical service at Star City, where the majority of Russia’s cosmonauts are trained — allegedly committed suicide by jumping from the building after failing to contain the outbreak. The hospital insisted her death was merely a “tragic accident.”
Falling or defenestration from buildings appears to have become a signature manner of death for numerous government critics in Russia over the past decade. Before this year’s incidents, the most recent case was that of the 32-year-old investigative journalist Maxim Borodin, who was thrown out of a fourth-floor window in April 2018 after investigating Russia’s military involvement in Syria.
Having initially slow to pick up cases, Russia has now become one of the countries most badly hit by the coronavirus. As of Tuesday, Russian health authorities had recorded 423,741 coronavirus infections and 5,037 deaths, although some analysts believe the figure could be much higher as a result of lack of testing or even government coverups.