One knows about the Russian generals who die pretty often and it is not always a death by natural causes. Here the InformNapalm volunteers try to create the most complete list of strange deaths and not-so-strange ones of the Russian generals and admirals so often happened in a contemporary history of the Russian Federation. Their death particulars have remains unclear in many cases and all secrets are buried. Our readers are welcome to define the cause of each death: a murder, a suicide or a natural cause. We have also prepared this death infographics during the ruling of two Presidents (Yeltsin and Putin).
Sergey Akhromeyev, Marshal of the Soviet Union, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, 1st Deputy Defense Minister (1984-1988). After the August 1991 Coup failed he had committed suicide in his Kremlin office on August 24th, 1991 (he served as Michael Gorbachev adviser on the military policy). There are many discrepancies and deviations in this story. Let’s start form a really bizarre suicide methods – being a militant he had chosen hanging (in a sitting position) over shooting. Then, according to the notes left by him there were several attempts on one day; at the same time there were witnesses who talked to Akhromeyev and received orders from him and it happened between these supposed attempts. Third, there was a witness who saw somebody going to and from the Akhromeyev’s office. And finally, a criminal investigator was not allowed to see the crime scene for a long time as well as to bring witnesses. On September 1st marshal Akhromeyev was buried without military honors on the Troyekurov cemetery.
Yuriy Gusev, Colonel general was killed in a car accident on November 30th, 1992. There were continuous rumors about a planned action rather than a tragic incident: just a few seconds before everything had happened a driver lost consciousness and the reason left unknown.
Nikolay Yegorkin, real admiral, Head of the Military Counterintelligence of the Pacific Ocean Navy died in a car accident in February 1993 on his way to the Vladivostok airport. It was a traffic collision of his company car ‘Volga’ and a ‘ZIL’ truck. On that day Yegorkin was on his way to Moscow attending a top level law enforcement and secret services meeting on the organized crime and corruption.
Victor Barannikov, Army General, the last USSR Minister of the Interior Affairs (MIA) (1991), MIA of the Russian Soviet Republic (1990-91) and Security Minister of the Russian Federation in 1992-93. He was involved in a Karabakh conflict (a territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan) and he was among those ones who arrested the USSR Minister of Defense Yazov after the August Coup 1991. On July 21st, 2995 he died in his country house supposedly because of the stroke. Before that he was jailed in Lefortovo for organizing the mass riots in September-October 1993.
Aleksandr Lomanov, Major general, one of the GRU leaders (Russian Main Intelligence Directorate): on May 22nd, 1996 a drunk driver killed a pedestrian, who was a Major general.
Anatoliy Volkov, armored corps Major general had committed suicide on June 18th, 1996. He used a gun, which President Yeltsin presented to him. Volkov served as: a Deputy Head of the Chief Department of the Cossacks army; a member of a special Commission on the Chechen conflict and leaded a POW group (prisoners of war).
Victor Shipilov, GRU Major general had committed suicide on May 5th, 1996. He fell from a window of his apartment (Krulatskie holmy str.). There was no suicide note. According to investigation held a psychic disorder after Shipilov return from Yugoslavia was named as the suicide reason. He spent a long time there including the Yugoslav Wars working as a Military Attache and taking part in a peace process.
Lev Rokhlin, Lieutenant general: was leading an operation capturing a Presidential palace in Grozny (Chechnya). He was a major contact during a ceasefire negotiations with the Chechen warlords. He declined a ‘Hero of Russia’ award saying that ‘there is no glory for generals in a civil war; The Chechen war is a calamity not an honor’. In 1997 he initiated an opposition political movement, argued a lot with the current political regime’ there were rumors about a coup or an impeachment of President Yeltsin. On July 3rd, 1998 he was found dead in his country house. He was shot and his wife was convicted.
Boris Baturin, Major general, Deputy Head of the Chief Committee on Fighting the Organized Crime, Ministry of Interior Affairs died in a car accident also in July 1998. Russian media connected his death with a recent murder of Dmitriy Holodov journalist who investigated corruption among the Ministry of Interior Affairs staff. The 45th regiment airborne forces’ group members and Pavel Popovskikh, its Intelligence Head were arrested as suspects but all of them have been found not guilty. It is known now that this division took part in special operation killing Russian and foreign citizens in Russia and outside. Investigation included the Ministry of Interior Affairs GRU and Baturin who signed documents to the members of the 45th regiment and very soon he was dead.
Ivan Shalaev, Major general, Head of the GRU died in a car accident on August 7th, 1999. He could not control the car.
German Ugryumov, Admiral died on May 31st, 2001 in Hankala (Chechnya) and cause of death was a myocardial infraction. He had received an Admiral rank one day before -May 30th. Ugryumov was the Federal Security Service (FSB) Deputy Head and managed the Department on the Constitution Protection and Terrorism Fighting. Since 2001 he combined this position with another one: Head of the North Caucasus Regional Staff.
Alexander Lebed, Lieutenant general died on April 28th, 2002 when his helicopter MI-8 went down in Krasnoyarsk region (Siberia). He and general Rokhlin were often named among the possible leaders of a military coup in the Russian Federation if such happened.
Valeriy Gertsev, Major general died in a car accident on September 11th, 2002 (45th km of the Kiev ‘chaussee’ in Moscow). He leaded one of the divisions of the Russian Main Missile & Artillery Directorate of the Ministry of Defense.
Vladimir Platoshin, Major general, the Border Guard was accidentally shot near Cheboksary (Chuvashia) in his ‘Mercedes’ from his gun by a stranger who was also in a car; her name was never disclosed based on the investigation ‘interests’. It was in September 2002. Platoshin was a Head of the Aviation forces in Tajikistan as well as was fighting the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border drug trafficking.
Petr Ivashutin, Army general, 1st Deputy Head of the USSR’s KGB (1954-1963), acting KGB Head (November 5-13 1961), the GRU Head & Deputy Head of the General Staff of the USSR Army (1963-1986) died on June 4th, 2002. He was a senior person, so there are no reasons to believe that his death was caused by something else than natural causes.
Vladimir Shevelev, Major general died when his car was on fire in the Moscow region on September 19th, 2002. There were traces of intrusion into his country house. According to the investigation the robbers took the car and organized an arson in the nearby village. By 1997 Sheveled worked at the Federal Agency on the State Communication & Information (‘FAPSI’) and later was a Deputy Head of the OJS ‘Rostelecom’ (the leading telecom provider).
Vasiliy Kolesnik, Major general who designed a special operation capturing the President Amin palace in Afghanistan died on October 30th, 2002. In 1979 he formed and taught the 154th special forces division, which was acting in Afghanistan. In 1082-1992 Kolesnik served as a Head of the Special Intelligence of the GRU General Staff of the USSR Army.
Yuriy Shatokhin, Lieutenant general died in a car accident on November 5th, 2002. He was Head of the Russian Federal Aviation Border Guard. When he retired Shatokhin worked as a Deputy Head of the OJC ‘Aviazapchast’ (one of the leading Russian non-government companies offering technical support for civil aviation).
Igor Shifrin, Lieutenant general, Head of the Military division of the Federal Service on Special Construction was wounded and then died when his car was under the fire in Grozny (Chechnya) on November 15th, 2002.
Yuriy Maksimov, Army general died on November 17th, 2002. He served as a Military Adviser in 1967-1969 in Yemen, since 1979 he served as a Head of the Turkmenistan military District. He was appointed as a Head of the South Strategic Group in 1984 and since 1985 he served as a Head of the Strategic Missiles Troops and Deputy Minister of Defense. In 1991 he was the Head of the USSR Strategic Deterrence Forces and since 1992 he is a Head of the Commonwealth of Independent States’ joint forces.
Anatoliy Trofimov, Colonel general, Head of the Federal Security Service in Moscow and Moscow region in 1995-97 was shot together with his wife near his own house on April 10th, 2005.The hitman had a mask and acted professionally. The murder was never solved, but Savostianov (the former head of the FSB in Moscow) and alive at that times Litvinenko were convinced that the general was killed for political reasons.
Valeriy Pechenkin, Colonel general, First Deputy Head of Counterintelligence Service of the central apparatus of the FSB, suddenly died because of ‘unpredicted heart failure and concomitant infarct’ in December of 2007. There is a version that the general was personally involved in the failed operation to eliminate Aleksandr Litvinenko in London in November 2006.
Victor Vlasov, Colonel general and acting Head of the Ministry of Defense Construction & Quartering Service shot himself on February 21st, 2008.
Gennadiy Troshev, Colonel general who took part in the Chechen War was among the victims of the Boeing-737-500 crash in the Perm region.
Valeriy Lipinskiy, Major general, Deputy Head of the North-Caucasus Staff, Ministry of the Interior Affairs was killed on December 29th, 2008. The car was under the fire and sill names of the attackers are unknown. He was wounded into the chest and later died of the blood loss in the hospital.
Aleksandr Rogachev, retired Major general, the Russian Federal Intelligence Service was found dead inside the Toyota Land Cruiser near the ‘Parisian’ restaurant on February 22nd, 2009. Militia initially believed that it was a natural death but during the autopsy a 9 mm bullet was taken from the general head. He was known as a very cautious person and the fact that he was killed in his vehicle served as a possible proof that he knew the killer and allowed him inside.
Konstantin Petrov, Major general, Leader of the Conceptual Party Unity (‘KПE’), and Head of the Opposition Project ‘Concept in the Civil Security’ died on July 21st, 2009. He took part in the ‘Energy-Buran’ airspace development and testing. The official version claims the natural causes death but his friends and colleagues still believe that Petrov was poisoned.
Yuriy Ivanov, Major general, Deputy Head of the GRU General Staff of the Russian Army died under the very strange circumstances. His body was discovered on August 16th, 2010 (a year which was fatal for many Russian generals). A body was decomposed when inhabitants of a small Turkish village on the Mediterranean Sea found it. The last time Ivanov was seen alive was in Syria (across from Turkey) where he inspected a construction in Tartus city where Russia was expanding its Black Sea navy military base. He was meeting later with the Syrian intelligence officers and he disappeared around this time. Ivanov was pretty much the 2nd in charge of the military GRU intelligence. There were rumors that he organized operations to kill Chechen individuals abroad. His name is also connected to the Tu-154 air crash when President of Poland Lekh Kaczynski and many top level military commanders and state officials died.
Victor Chervizov, Major general, ex Head of the Ministry of Interior Affairs Intelligence Division killed himself shooting from a commemorative gun in a lobby of his apartment house in Moscow (Veernaya str.) on October 4th, 2010. It is worth to note that Chevrizov served as a Deputy Head of the Special Forces Intelligence division. Just a few days after the Federal Intelligence Service Lieutenant Colonel (podpolkovnik) Boris Smirnov shot himself in his garage in the Northern district of Moscow.
Grigory Dubrov, Lieutenant general fell from the train platform in the Balashikha, Moscow region on October 28th, 2010. He served as a Chairman of the Russian Anti Fascist Committee and a member of the Coordination Union, Russian military-patriotic NGOs. In February 2010 he chaired the All-Russian officers meeting where the decision to dismiss Putin-Medvedev government. On November 7th Dubrov was planning to speak at the meeting ‘Army againist Minister Serdyukov’ (Minister of Defense). He was not only one who did not attend this event: Lieutenant general Debashbili was found dead in the downtown Moscow; Lieutenant general Shamanov who was in a car accident in Tula on October 30th.
Boris Debashvili, Lieutenant general who is mentioned above; his body was discovered near 28, Komsomolsky prosp., Moscow on October 30th, 2010.
Vladislav Achalov, Colonel general, Deputy USSR Defense Minister (1990-1991), Russian Defense Minister (Sept 22nd – Oct 4th, 1993) died after long illness on June 23rd, 2011. He was in a strong opposition to the Russian leadership. In the fall of 1993 he was among the leaders of the coup in Moscow (after the Deputies of the Supreme Council blockade). He was arrested but then freed after the amnesty act in 1994. He openly supported the idea to dismiss Serdyukov, Defense Minister and was among those who organized a meeting in November 2010. Generals Dubrov, Chevrizov and Debashvili died before the event and general Shamanov stayed alive after a car accident but could not attend staying in a hospital.
Konstantin Morev, Major general, Head of the Federal Intelligence Service in Tver region was discovered in his office dead and with a bullet in his head on August 26th, 2011. He also occupied a similar position in Sakha-Yakutia Republic of the Russian Federation.
Leonid Shebarshin, Lieutenant general, Head of the USSR Foreign Intelligence ( Feb 6, 1989 – Sep 22, 1991), acting KGB Head (August 22-23, 1991) shot himself in his apartment at 2nd Tverskaya-Yamskaya str on March 30th, 2012. He graduated from the Moscow Institute of International Relations, spoke 4 languages, worked in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. President Putin served under his command in St. Petersburg.
Pavel Grachev, Army general, Russian Defense Minister (1992-1996) died in the Vishnevsky Central Military Hospital in Moscow on September 23rd, 2012. The cause of death remains unclear: stroke, poison or an incurable illness. The official version stated meningoencephalitis as a cause of death. He is a well-known personality of the Russian history: he was one of the organizers of the August 91 Coup, then decided to take the President Yeltsin side, later he was among those who fired the ‘White House’ in 1993; he leaded the Soviet Army withdrawal from Eastern Europe; took part in the nuclear disarmament talks; he was among the commanders of the Russian army in Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Bosnia; it was time of the 1st Chechen War. He definitely knew a lot but nothing was disclosed as he never wrote the memoirs.
Oleg Skopintsev, Lieutenant general, Head of Intelligence Counterintelligence Service of the central apparatus of the FSB Russia, died in a mysterious crash of a private Robinson R-44 helicopter in December of 2012. In the media reports he was described as just ‘a resident of Moscow’. The main focus of this incident was biased towards the businessman Fedor Tsarev (known in criminal circles under the nickname ‘Peat king’), who was together with the general aboard the helicopter. The third person on the board was the son of Vasily Petrov, the former head of the Federal Property Agency. All three passengers died.
Vasiliy Bondarev, Major general of the Strategic Missiles Troops who was teaching at the Russian General Staff Academy hanged himself in his bathroom on April 19th, 2013.
Yuriy Ustimenko, Vice admiral, former Head of the North Navy of the Russian military forces shot himself in his apartment on January 3rd, 2014.
Vyacheslav Apanasenko, Counter admiral of the Russian Navy tried to commit suicide by shooting himself to the head on February 7th, 2014. He died later in the hospital. His daughter informed the public that he had a cancer but no painkillers.
Boris Saplin, Major general retired committed suicide by shooting himself suing his commemorative gun on March 18th, 2014. The death note confirmed that he suffered from the headache, which was causing by the late stage of cancer.
Victor Gudkov, Major general of the GRU shot himself on June 8th, 2014 in the southern part of Moscow. He ‘suffered from a serious illness and depression was a reason for such action’.
Boris Kolesnikov, Major general, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Interior Affairs Division on the Economic Security & Corruption Fighting committed suicide during his interrogation by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation on June 16th, 2014. No reasons or details of this death are known.
Sergey Mishanin, Major general died in his office on July 21st, 2014. He served as a military commissioner in the Nizhny Novgorod region since 2010. He was a commander of the 205th mechanized brigade and 122nd mechanized division before that appointment. Suicide is named as a cause of death.
Vyacheslav Buchnev, Major general, Defense Minister of the Mari El Republic was discovered in his office with a deadly wound in his head on January 3rd, 2015. It was stated that he committed suicide using his commemorative gun.
Anatoliy Kudryavtsev, Lieutenant general hanged on a shoelace because he ‘suffered from the cancer pain’ on January 6th, 2015.
Alexander Shushukin, Major general, Deputy Head if the Russian Navy Staff died on December 27th, 2015 as a result of a heart attack. It was Shushukin who planned and leaded the Crimean annexation in 2014. He also took part in the military operations in the Northern Caucasus and Yugoslavia.
Igor Sergun, Colonel general, Head of the Russian General Staff Chief Intelligence Division, Deputy Head of the General Staff of the Russian Army had suddenly died on January 3rd, 2016. His position tells us a lot but it is important to note that he is responsible not only for the annexation of Crimea but for the entire operation against Ukraine. He took part in preparation and maintenance of the Russian aggression in the Eastern parts of Ukraine – Donetsk and Luhansk – where murders, crimes, and violence are going one and have become a ‘new normal’ for the so-called ‘Donetsk Peoples’ Republic’ and ‘Luhansk Peoples’ Republic’. There is a possibility o connect his name with the MH-17 catastrophe near Torez town (when Boeing-777 was shot by a surface-to-air missile). Russian media claims that he died in the Moscow region but Stratfor reports about his death in Livan on January 1st, 2016.
The list is not complete and more data may be added. It is possible to conclude that the Kremlin purges its top-level military staff after each more or less significant fight. The scale of the Russian crimes in Syria and Ukraine allows to believe that a new ‘generals’ star falling’ is on its way. There are only two ways for each Russian general: to escape and seek asylum while revealing all crimes to the military tribunal or to become another ‘paratrooper’, die in a loop ‘because of a cancer’. There are always the options…