A top Putin defense official in the war against Ukraine was found dead on Wednesday after she plunged 160 feet from a tower back window, the latest mysterious death of a high-ranking Russian official. Marina Yankina, 58, was found by a passerby at the front door of a house on Zamshina Street in St. Petersburg, Russian news Telegram channel Mash reported.
According to preliminary investigation, Yankina may have committed suicide. According to Mash, Yankina called her ex-husband just before supposedly killing herself and told him what she was planning to do. She is the latest in a string of Russian officials who have died under suspicious circumstances since Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine began last February.
Yankina, according to reports, jumped form the 16th floor window of a an apartment building. It is not known what she was doing there as she did not have a house there. Her body was first seen by a passerby.
Although she called her husband and told him that she was going to commit suicide, she didn't share any reason with him. In fact, she also requested her husband to call the police to his apartment building on Zamshina Street.
No official explanation has been given, but according to Mash, the 58-year-old was reportedly having health issues. Yankina played a key role in helping to finance Putin's war in Ukraine.
She oversaw the Ministry of Defense's financial assistance division for the Western Military District, which is heavily involved in the invasion.
The Russian Investigative Committee confirmed Yankina's death, and is also investigating her tragic death from the fall.
Yankina previously worked for the Federal Tax Service and held the position of deputy head of the Property Relations Committee of St. Petersburg before joining the Western Military District.
Yankina is the latest in a long list of prominent and high-profile Russian officials and businessmen who have died inexplicably since the Ukraine war began last year. Just last week, Major General Vladimir Makarov, a Russian general whom Putin recently fired, was found dead in what appeared to be a suicide.
In case Yankina's death also a suicide is reportedly being suspected, although in Russia, reports of suspected suicides are frequently made before any investigations have been done or the facts are known.
Yankina is believed to have been the center of initiatives to boost funds for the war with Ukraine that broke out almost a year ago, killing hundreds of thousands of people and leaving Putin with a string of military setbacks.
Dozens of Russian businessmen have been found dead since the start of 2022 in unexplained circumstances.
According to initial reports from Russia, it was unclear if Yankina resided or worked at the St. Petersburg building. She is thought to have fallen from the 16th story, where her personal items were discovered.
Senior officials in the Leningrad region, close to St. Petersburg, knew her well. According to reports, Yankina was friendly with Mikhail Mokretsov, a former deputy minister of defense and chief of staff of the Ministry of Defense.
Mokretsov is a businessman and governmental official from Russia who, between 2007 and 2010, directed the federal revenue department. He then had a high position in St. Petersburg.
Dozens of Russian businessmen have been found dead since the start of 2022 in unexplained circumstances. Pavel Antonov, the wealthiest member of the Russian Duma and a critic of Vladimir Putin, died in India on December 26 after falling out of a hotel window.
His traveling partner Vladimir Bidenov was found dead in the same hotel four days later.
Aleksandr Buzakov, who had been in charge of Russia's "admiralty shipyards" for 10 years, passed away on December 24. Aleksey Maslov, 69, the former commander of the Russian Ground Forces, passed away in a hospital on December 25.
Among other who recently died are the vice president of Gazprombank, a senior Gazprom executive, and the editor of a well-known Russian propaganda magazine.