A colonel serving as the deputy head of one of the Russian navy's top colleges has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, according to local reports.
Reports in Russia claim that Col. Vadim Boyko, 44, entered his office at the Makarov Pacific Higher Naval School on Wednesday morning, after which a duty officer heard five gunshots and ran in to find the colonel dead.
Suicide Unlikely, Claim Investigators
Authorities found a Makarov pistol and bullet cases next to his body, according to Russian news outlet Pravda.
Some outlets questioned if 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 — has suggested that is unlikely. Criminal investigators continue to work to determine what happened.
Boyko Involvement in Putin's 'Partial Mobilization Order'
Boyko is said to have been responsible for working with troops recently called up under Vladimir Putin's "partial mobilization order" for the war against Ukraine. The order allowed him to start drafting Russian citizens to serve in the increasingly depleted military.
Putin claimed that conscription is "fully adequate 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 proved immensely unpopular.
Neighboring countries saw a surge in migration as Russian men fled the country in order to avoid the draft and fighting in Ukraine.
Another Military Commissar Found Dead Under Similar Circumstances Last Month
Boyko's death comes just one month after Lt. Col. Roman Malyk, a military commissar in control of Vladimir Putin's disastrous mobilisation effort in Ukraine, was discovered dead under "suspicious" circumstances, as previously reported.
Local authorities later claimed that his "heart stopped" and ruled his death a suicide but his friends and family disputed that finding.