Russian journalist Alexander Rybin, who worked for media outlet Rabkor among others, has been found dead near the town of Shakhty in southern Russia, close to the Ukrainian border. His death was confirmed by Rabkor on Telegram via statements from his mother and a friend.
The 47-year-old's body was discovered on January 6th. His death adds to a string of mysterious and sudden deaths of prominent figures from various fields in Russia.
Authorities have stated that Rybin died of natural causes, namely heart problems, and that there are no suspicious circumstances. However, Rabkor expresses doubts.
"What happened to him is unknown, and perhaps we'll never know the truth," reads an article on their website. "Sudden death from natural causes? 'Sasha' never gave the impression of being ill, and he never complained about his health. And if he was killed, who did it and why?"
While Rybin was known as a pro-Kremlin journalist and a veteran of the 2014 conflict in eastern Ukraine, he had recently visited the heavily bombed Ukrainian city of Mariupol. From there, he offered sharp criticism of the reconstruction efforts under Russian control.
"There's enormous money here. There are enormous opportunities for corruption," he said according to Daily Beast in a December 30th report. "My personal impression - and I'm not accusing anyone of anything - is that there's massive corruption going on in Mariupol."
Just days later, he was found dead.