Falling for Putin: The Windows, The Stairs, and The Oligarchs

In a phenomenon dubbed "Sudden Russian Death Syndrome", over two dozen oligarchs, media executives, and high ranking military personnel have died in "accidental" deaths since the start of the Ukraine war.

Most have "fallen" out of windows. One fell from his boat and "died instantly" upon hitting the water. One even died from the poisoned toad venom he took from a couple of guru-healers in Moscow who gave him the toxin as a hangover cure. All of these victims of SRDS have run afoul of Putin's favor, and met untimely deaths in the past couple of years. If you like our content please become a patron to support the podcast. You'll get all of our episodes ad-free. 1

We're also talking a bit about the Wagner group, recently declared an international criminal organization by the US State Department. Its leaders have a penchant for Nazi tattoos and brutality, but they also seem to have much more leeway in terms of criticizing the Kremlin than all of the unfortunate oligarchs who fell out of their balcony windows or fell down a flight a stairs. Recently the Russian Army took credit for taking the town of Soledar in Eastern Ukraine, and Wagner Group officials publicly corrected them and chastised the Kremlin for "stealing their victory." In a rare moment of backing down, the Kremlin apologized for the mis-statement. 2

Almost half of the two dozen or so "mysterious deaths" since the beginning of the Ukraine war happened prior to the summer of 2022. 3

1. Elaine Godfrey. Sudden Russian Death Syndrome. The Atlantic. December 2022. 

2. Leila Sackur. Victory claims over small Ukrainian town expose rift among Russian forces NBC News. January 2023. 

3. Giulia Carbonaro. Every Russian Official Who Has Died Since Putin Invaded Ukraine. Newsweek. April 2022. 

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