Top Russian scientist behind Sputnik V vaccine ‘throat’: report

Andrey Botikov, one of the scientists who helped develop the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, was found strangled to death with a belt at his apartment here and police have arrested a suspect in connection with the murder. Saturday.

Russian news agency TASS quoted the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation as saying that 47-year-old Botikov, who worked as a senior researcher at the Gamaleya National Research Center for Ecology and Mathematics, was found dead in his apartment on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin honored the virologist with the Order of Merit for the Fatherland award in 2021 for his work on the COVID vaccine. As per the report, Botikov was one of the 18 scientists who developed the Sputnik V vaccine in 2020.

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His death is being investigated as homicide, the committee, which is the investigative authority in Russia, said in a statement to Telegram.

According to investigators, a 29-year-old man strangled Botikov with a belt during an argument and fled. Law enforcement agencies said that the murder was a domestic crime and was the result of a struggle, the report said.

The Federal Investigation Agency said in a statement that the suspect was arrested soon after Botikov’s body was found.

“The location of the assailant was established in short order. During interrogation, he pleaded guilty and was charged. The defendant has a previous criminal record, as he was tried for having committed a serious crime. In the near future, The probe is planning to file a petition in the court to keep the respondent in custody pending trial,” the probe committee said.

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