Russian Police Major Falls to Her Death After Testifying Against Former Boss

Russian police wearing face masks patrol in central Moscow on May 17, 2020, during a strict lockdown in Russia to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. (Photo by Yuri KADOBNOV / AFP) (Photo by YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)
YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images

A female police major in Russia has become the latest person to mysteriously fall to their death from a window after testifying against her boss in a criminal extortion case, according to local media reports.

The Moscow Times reported Thursday that footage from security cameras showed the lifeless body of criminal investigation officer Yekaterina Mishkina, 37, having fallen from the fifth floor of a nine-floor apartment building in the far eastern city of Khabarovsk, over 8,000 kilometers from Moscow.

Although circumstances around her death currently remain unclear, security footage captured her unsuccessfully attempting to reach the building’s rooftop before going back down the stairs. Reports indicate that Mishkina may have been targeted after testifying as a witness in a criminal case against her former boss, who is facing extortion charges.

Khabarovsk regional police spokesperson Yekaterina Tarasova told Gubernia that the department would launch an internal investigation into Mishkina’s death, noting that her lead investigator was “on yet another vacation” at the time of her death.

One source involved in the investigation told local media that officials found a note in Mishkina’s purse laying out a number of tasks she needed to complete until a certain point.

“This indicates that what happened wasn’t spontaneous,” the source said, adding that she was a divorcee who left behind a 14-year-old daughter.

Mishkina’s death is the latest in a string of mysterious incidents where people who have upset or crossed the Russian government or other figures have ended up falling to their deaths. As Russia has grappled with the Chinese coronavirus in recent months, three healthcare workers have died in such a manner after having criticized the Kremlin’s handling of the pandemic.

Last month, a police lieutenant colonel also died after falling from the fifth floor of Moscow City Clinical Hospital. The circumstances leading up to her death are unclear, although she was described as a senior expert for the Forensic Center of the Interior Ministry, a government-run agency.

Many journalists and other dissidents have also found themselves falling to their deaths in suspicious circumstances. The most recent case was Maxim Borodin, a 32-year-old investigative journalist who was thrown out of a fourth-floor window in April 2018 after covering Russia’s military involvement in the Syrian Civil War.

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