Investigative journalist dies after mysterious fall from fourth-floor window
APROMINENT regional journalist investigating crime, politics and the war in Syria has died following a fall from a window of his fourthfloor apartment in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth city.
Neighbours found Maxim Borodin, 32, on the ground outside his apartment on Friday. He died in hospital two days later, without ever regaining consciousness. Borodin was well known for delving into Yekaterinburg’s criminal underworld. He was among those who broke the story of unreported deaths in the Kremlin’s shad- ow armies fighting in Syria. He also published investigations into Russia’s religious right, and the violent protests around “Matilda,” a supposedly blasphemous film depicting a love affair between Tsar Nicholas II and a young ballerina.
As one of only few investiga- tive voices in the region, Borodin often felt the brunt of official and criminal displeasure. Just two weeks ago, he was in intensive care with a major head injury. In October, when he was hit over the head with a metal pipe that attack he linked to his work covering the Matilda protests.
Police say there were no signs of forced entry into his apartment, and the door was locked from the inside. But friends and colleagues have said they are suspicious of the circumstances surrounding his death.
Vyacheslav Bashkov, a local rights activist, told The Independent that Borodin had called him early in the morning on 11 April. The journalist feared a police raid, says Bashkov. A group of people in masks and fatigues had taken up positions in his courtyard, and he assumed he was the target.