The Perfect Enemy | Top Russian vaccine scientist found dead in apartment: reports - Insider
April 13, 2024
  • A Russian scientist was strangled to death with a belt in his apartment, authorities said Thursday.
  • Andrey Botikov helped develop the country’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in 2020.
  • Shortly after Botikov’s body was found in his apartment in Moscow, a suspect was arrested.

A top Russian scientist who helped develop the country’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine was found dead in his apartment on Thursday, according to a Telegram post by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. 

The death of Andrey Botikov, who worked as a senior researcher at the Gamaleya National Research Center for Ecology and Mathematics, is being investigated as a murder, the statement said. 

According to investigators, a 29-year-old man strangled the 47-year-old virologist with a belt during an argument and fled.

A suspect was arrested shortly after Botikov’s body was found in his apartment in Moscow.

“The location of the attacker was established in short order. During the interrogation, he pled guilty and was charged,” authorities said, according to Russian News Agency TASS. 

The committee added that the attacker had previously stood trial for “committing a serious crime,” The investigators plan to “petition the court to place the defendant in custody pending trial.” 

Botikov was one of 18 scientists who helped create Russia’s COVID vaccine in 2020 and was awarded an Order of Merit for the Fatherland by Vladimir Putin in 2021, per The Daily Beast.