Russian investigative journalist dies after mystery balcony fall

Tuesday, 17 Apr, 2018

Borodin, a Yekaterinburg-based investigative correspondent for the independent news website Novy Den, died yesterday after falling on April 12 from the balcony of his fifth-floor apartment, local media and his employer reported.

Borodin, 32, died on April 15 in a hospital without recovering consciousness.

Novy Den, a Russian news outlet reported the incident and employed Borodin, adding officials stated the door to Maxim Borodin's apartment was locked from the inside. The spokesperson also said that investigators did not find a suicide note in the journalist's apartment.

A day before his fall, Borodin contacted his friend Vyacheslav Bashkov around 5 a.m. and said there were "security forces" outside his apartment in camouflage. "I didn't call him after that, although I was waiting for him to write something on Facebook", Bashkov wrote.

In his Facebook post, Bashkov said that he went to local police after he found out about Borodin's death, but police seemed uninterested and "did not question [him] about much".

An hour after that, Borodin called Bashkov again to say the officers were conducting a drill. "But he didn't write anything; and on the 13th, the media reported that Maksim had been found under his balcony and he was in the emergency room".

In the past weeks, Borodin was covering the deaths of Russian mercenaries in Syria, identifying fighters who had been returned to their villages for burial and showcasing the Russian Ministry of Defense's denial that any Russian fighters were killed during the February 7th air strikes despite evidence to suggest otherwise.

On February 7, a group of Russian mercenaries with tanks and artillery attacked territory held by US -backed opponents of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Reporters Without Borders tweeted on Sunday that the circumstances of Borodin's death were "suspicious", and that they want "a thorough, impartial investigation, wrote Business Insider".