Alexander Shchetinin, a prominent Russian journalist and critic of President Vladimir Putin, was found dead in his apartment in Kiev, Ukraine, on Sunday, according to Russian and international media reports.
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Shchetinin, founder the Novy Region (New Region) press agency, was reportedly found with a bullet wound in his head by friends who had arrived to visit him on his birthday.
A gun and spent cartridges were found near his body and the door to his apartment was said to be locked, leading Ukrainian officials to speculate that he had committed suicide.
According to the UNIAN website, Shchetinin sent an email to a relative shortly before his death saying that he intended to kill himself.
"Alexander was sitting on a chair, with a gunshot wound to his head, the gun was lying under the chair. According to credible sources, the case has been classified as suicide, as Alexander sent an email to one of his loved ones where he said he wanted to kill himself,” local news wqebsite Kyiv Operatyvni reported.
Shchetinin gave up his Russian citizenship and settled in the Ukrainian capital in 2014, after Novy Region split into two offices covering the Urals and Ukraine. At the time, he reportedly called the Russian president a “personal enemy.”
Ukrainian police are continuing to investigate Shchetinin’s death.