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The friend of a Russian sausage tycoon who seemingly leapt to his death from the roof of a hotel in India died from a heart attack linked to drug abuse and binge drinking, a local police chief insisted.
Multi-millionaire Pavel Antov, a lawmaker of the pro-Putin party United Russia, was celebrating his upcoming 66th birthday in Rayagada when he was found lying dead in a pool of blood outside a luxury hotel on Saturday.
But the mysterious fall occurred just two days after his traveling companion Vladimir Bydanov, 61, died in hospital after suddenly taking ill.
'All possible angles as regards to the deaths of two Russian nationals are being verified,' regional police chief Rajesh Pandit told the AFP news agency yesterday evening.
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'So far, it seems that Antov accidentally fell from the hotel terrace,' he said, before adding Bydanov's death had likely been caused by binge drinking and a possible drug overdose - though Indian authorities are still awaiting the post-mortem results. © Provided by Daily Mail Russian MP Pavel Antov, 65, who previously criticised the war in Ukraine, was found dead in India on Saturday, having seemingly tumbled from the roof of a hotel
Police chief Pandit posited that Antov may have killed himself by jumping from the roof terrace of the Sai International Hotel in a fit of grief over the passing of his companion Bydanov.
'He was probably disturbed by the death of his friend and went to the hotel terrace and likely fell to his death from there,' the police chief said.
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But the circumstances surrounding the pair's deaths are far from conclusive.
The Russian Consul General in Kolkata Alexei Idamkin told TASS that Antov 'fell' out of a hotel window, rather than falling or jumping from the hotel roof.
'We are closely following the investigation and receiving all the information from the Odisha police,' the diplomat said.
Police said they were reviewing CCTV footage, questioning hotel staff and were waiting on final post-mortem reports, but so far there was no sign of foul play.
Both bodies have already been cremated. © Provided by Daily Mail Antov died at the Hotel Sai International, Rayagada, India, but events around his death are disputed
Antov, an MP in the legislative assembly of the Vladimir region near Moscow, was listed as Russia's highest-earning elected official in 2019 by Forbes Russia, having earned an eye-watering £130million that year.
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The lawmaker made his fortune in the meat industry, having founded food processing enterprise 'Vladimirsky Standart'.
In June, Antov criticised the war and air strikes on Kyiv as Russian 'terror' wounding Ukrainian civilians.
He highlighted a Russian missile strike and said: 'A girl has been pulled out from under the rubble, the girl's father appears to have died.
'The mother is trying to be pulled out with a crane - she is trapped under a slab. To tell the truth, it is extremely difficult to call this anything other than terror.'
But he quickly withdrew the comment and made a groveling apology, claiming his post on social media had been 'an unfortunate misunderstanding' and a 'technical error'.
He insisted he had 'always supported the president' and 'sincerely' backed the goals of Putin's military operation - but local journalists strongly disputed this. © Provided by Daily Mail The married tycoon, an MP in the legislative assembly in Vladimir region, was listed as Russia's highest-earning elected official in 2019
The MP was travelling with the late Bydanov as well as two other Russian nationals, named by the Times of India as Natalia Pansasenko, 44, and her husband Mikhail Turov, 64.
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Diplomat Mr Idamkin said: 'There was a tour group of four staying at a hotel in Rayagada.
'Last Thursday, a Russian man called Vladimir B. died. According to the police, the cause of this was a heart attack.
'On Saturday, a second Russian, deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Vladimir Region, Pavel Antov, fell out of the window.'
Antov's death at the Sai International Hotel was confirmed by the vice-speaker of the Vladimir legislative assembly Vyacheslav Kartukhin.
'As a result of tragic circumstances, our colleague, a successful entrepreneur, and philanthropist Pavel Genrihovich Antov, passed away,' his post said.
'On behalf of the deputies of the United Russia faction, I express my deep condolences to the family and friends.'
But the cases of Antov and Bydanov are just the latest in a long line of Russian oligarchs and business tycoons who met an untimely end since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Dmitry Zelenov, a real estate tycoon, died on December 9 in the French Riviera town of Antibes.
The oligarch, 50, was out to dinner with some friends when he began feeling unwell and tumbled down a flight of stairs, sustaining serious head injuries, according to Russian news outlet Baza and local French outlet Var Matin.
He was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to save him and his death was confirmed by the public prosecutor in the nearby municipality of Grasse the following day.
This is what happens to your body after all the heavy drinking at Christmas .
It's more than just a hangover going on in there.With Christmas parties coming out of your ears all throughout December, a fair few drinks to wash down your turkey dinner on the day itself (plus all the alcohol you need to deal with the inevitable Christmas family drama) and then a night out on New Year's Eve all happening within quick succession, it's no wonder half the population decide they need to sort their lives out with a detox come January time.