The 65-year-old’s body was found in a pool of blood outside his lodgings just a few days after another member of the group died in the same hotel.
After his family communicated that they would not be able to fly to India for a funeral, the police cremated his body at a local cremation ground.
Who Russia's Sausage Tycoon and Putin's Confidante?
A Russian sausage tycoon, Pavel Antov’s company “Vladimir Standard” is one of the leading manufacturers of meat sausages in the country.
Antov was also an elected deputy in the Legislative Assembly of the Vladimir Oblast and a member of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party.
Vyacheslav Kartukhin, Vice Speaker of the Regional Parliament described Antov as a “successful entrepreneur and philanthropist.”
Kartukhin said that Antov was “valued both for his professionalism and for his personal qualities – a delicate, intelligent, respectful of everyone, a man of broad outlook and erudition, he won everyone over,” calling the death “an irreparable loss.”
According to Forbes, he was ranked Russia’s highest-earning lawmaker, with a declared annual income of almost 130 million pounds, UK’s Telegraph said.
Criticised Russia-Ukraine war, But Not a Putin Critic
In July, the multi-millionaire appeared to condemn Putin’s invasion of Ukraine after he reacted to a Russian missile attack on a residential block in Kyiv that left a seven-year-old and her father dead.
In a story posted on messaging app WhatsApp, he criticised Russia’s missile attacks on Kyiv and said, “A girl has been pulled out from under the rubble, the girl’s father appears to have died. The mother is being pulled out with a crane” (sic) she is trapped under a slab. To tell the truth, it is extremely difficult to call this anything other than terror.”
However, the post was soon deleted and he claimed on Russian social that the message had been posted by someone else.
Moreover, calling him a Putin critic is also misleading, since this was the only instance where we found the oligarch seeming to hit out at Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
Over and above this, he has remained an active member of Putin's party and Putin's confidante, who's death is being mourned by Russian legislators.
He insisted that he was “a supporter of the president and my country’s patriot” and “shared the goals” of Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine. Calling the incident a technical error and an “unfortunate misunderstanding,” he also apologised and withdrew the comments.
What Do we Know About the 'Mysterious' Case
Antov’s death comes just two days after 62-year-old Vladimir Bidenov was found unconscious, "with a few empty wine bottles around him," post an apparent heart attack and could not be revived.
Antov and three other Russian nationals were vacationing to celebrate his 66th birthday at Hotel Sai International in the state's Rayaganda region.
Local media reports quoted by The Wire said that Bydanov and Antov had been drinking heavily while probably led to the former’s death.
While the police said that circumstantial evidence suggests “no foul play,” two cases of unnatural death were registered. On Tuesday, NDTV confirmed that according to the Russian embassy, till now the Odisha police has found no criminal link to the two deaths.
The Russian Embassy in Delhi said that they are “aware of the tragic demise of two Russian citizens in Odisha” and further confirmed that Antov was a Vladimir Region Legislative Assembly member.
The police completed cremating Bidenov’s body on 24 December at a local cremation ground and Antov attended the ceremony. His death was reported the same evening, a report by The Indian Express said.
(With inputs from TASS, The Wire, Forbes, The Indian Express)