Top Russian scientist who created Sputnik V Covid vaccine ‘is strangled with a belt in his Moscow apartment in line with intruder’
- Andrey Botikov was a senior researcher involved in creating the Sputnik vaccine
- His killer was found by authorities and has since been arrested and charged
The Russian Commission of Inquiry has launched a murder investigation after a top scientist was found dead in his Moscow apartment yesterday.
Andrey Botikov, known as one of 18 scientists working on the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in 2020, was identified as the man strangled with a belt in northwest Moscow.
It was previously reported that he survived the encounter after an intruder broke into his house and started rowing with him for money.
But a 29-year-old man has since been arrested and charged with the scientist’s murder.
Andrey Botikov was found strangled in his Moscow apartment on March 2, 2023
Russia’s Commission of Inquiry said they found the suspect in “the shortest possible time” after he tried to flee.
They claim he confessed to the crime during interrogation.
The commission also reported that the defendant had already been prosecuted for committing another “serious” crime.
Russian media reported that the suspect, known as Alexei Z, had served 10 years in prison on charges of providing sex services.
Andrey Botikov was a senior researcher at the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology.
Previously, he worked as a senior scientist at the Russian State Collection of Viruses DI Ivanovsky Institute of Virology.
He received an Order of Merit for the Fatherland for his work on the Sputnik V vaccine.
An image shared by the Commission of Inquiry of Russia after the virologist was killed
Sputnik was the first registered combination vector vaccine against Covid-19.
Critics suggested that the vaccine was approved without proper research into its safety and efficacy.
A 2021 article in The Lancet nevertheless claimed that the vaccine ‘appeared to be safe and effective’.
In February, Russian General Vladimir Makarov was found shot dead in an apparent suicide at his mansion.
He had recently been fired from his top job fighting extremism in Russia.
In December, a Russian sausage magnate was found dead after falling from a window while staying at a hotel in India.