Russian MP who called for end to Ukraine war is in a coma after 'fall'

Russian lawmaker who called for end to Putin’s war is comatose in hospital after claims ‘he was attacked at parliament building’ and suffered ‘unfortunate fall’

  • Anatoly Karpov, 71, in a coma in hospital after suffering head injuries at weekend 
  • Karpov, an MP, was known as Putin loyalist but had called for end to Ukraine war
  • Conflicting reports suggested he had either been beaten leaving Russia’s parliament building, had suffered a domestic incident, or had fallen over 
  • He is just the latest in a long line of Russian elites to meet unfortunate fates since  Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February

A Russian lawmaker who called for an end to Putin’s war in Ukraine is comatose in hospital after suffering serious head injuries. 

Anatoly Karpov, 71, who was a chess grandmaster in the 1970s before turning to politics, is thought to have been injured in Moscow some time overnight on Saturday – amid claims he ‘suffered a fall’.

He is now on a neurology ward at the renowned Sklifosovsky Institute and has been placed in a medically induced coma, with allies describing his condition as ‘serious’.

Karpov is known as a Putin ultra-loyalist but has called for an end to the war in Ukraine ‘so that peaceful people will stop dying.’ He is just the latest member of Russia’s elite to end up dead or seriously hurt since the invasion began.

Anatoly Karpov, 71, a former Russian chess grandmaster turned politician, is in a coma in hospital with ‘serious’ head injures after an incident at the weekend

Karpov, known as a Putin loyalist but who had voiced opposition to the Ukraine war, was alternately reported to have been attacked, suffered a domestic incident, or fallen

Mystery surrounds exactly when and how Karpov was hurt.

Andrey Kovalev, head of the All-Russian Movement of Entrepreneurs, claimed he was attacked and hit over the head as he was leaving Moscow’s State Duma building.

Kovalev said the politician suffered a fractured neck and head injures when he was battered over the head by unknown assailants and was found unconscious.

But Kirill Zangalis, spokesman for the Russian Chess Federation, said reports of a beating were ‘fake news’. Karpov’s daughter Sofia also denied those claims. 

Other reports suggested he suffered a ‘domestic’ incident or had an ‘unfortunate fall’. One claimed he was drunk at the time.

It is thought the attack happened late on Saturday or early on Sunday, though reports only began emerging yesterday.

While Karpov is seen as an ultra-loyalist and supporter of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, he has also publicly called for an end to the war.

He told a TV channel in Kazakhstan: ‘I wish [the war] would end sooner, so that peaceful people would stop dying.’

He added: ‘In the end ordinary people are the victims. Ordinary people fight, politicians and generals decide, and ordinary people fight, civilians die.

‘I am not even talking about soldiers and officers. No, I could not imagine at all that Russians and Ukrainians would go to war. I have many friends in Ukraine.’

His heartfelt ‘end the war’ plea came in April in an interview with Armanzhan Baytasov, a businessman who publishes Forbes Kazakhstan.

Karpov is just the latest in a long line of Russian elites to meet with misfortune following Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

While Putin has cracked down on opposition to the war, it is unclear whether all of the attacks relate directly to that. 

Some have speculated that elites in Russia’s notoriously gangster-ish business world are taking revenge on each other while Putin is distracted with the war.

The latest to die was Nikolay Petrunin, 47, dubbed the ‘Gas wonderkid’, who allegedly died from complications from Covid in mid-October after being in a coma for a month.

His businesses built gas pipelines for major Russian energy operators and he had links to Kremlin gas behemoth Gazprom – now starving the West of Russian supplies over the war – and Rosneft.

Pavel Pchelnikov, 52, a PR manager for the Russian Railways, was found shot dead at his home in the leafy Kolomenskaya Embankment neighbourhood on September 28.

In July, Yuri Voronov, 61, head of a transport and logistics company for a Gazprom-linked company, was found dead in his swimming pool, with a leading friend who is a top criminologist warning of foul play.

Two more deaths of Gazprom-linked executives were reported in elite homes near St Petersburg amid suspicions that apparent suicides may have been murders.

Alexander Tyulakov, 61, a senior Gazprom financial and security official at deputy general director level, was discovered by his lover the day after war started in Ukraine in February.

His neck was in a noose in his £500,000 home.

Ravil Maganov, chairman of Russian oil giant Lukoil, died after falling from a window at Central Clinical Hospital, Moscow (pictured with Vladimir Putin in 2019)

Yuri Voronov, 61, was found dead in August 

Two more deaths of Gazprom-linked executives were reported in elite homes near St Petersburg, stoking suspicions that the deaths may well have been murders

Billionaire Alexander Subbotin, 43 former top executive with energy giant Lukoil, died in May

Yet reports say he had been badly beaten shortly before he ‘took his own life’, leading to speculation he was under intense pressure.

In the same elite Leninsky gated housing development in Leningrad region three weeks earlier, Leonid Shulman, 60, head of transport at Gazprom Invest, was found dead with multiple stab wounds in a pool of blood on his bathroom floor.

Billionaire Alexander Subbotin, 43, also linked to Kremlin-friendly energy giant Lukoil where he was a top manager, was found dead in May after ‘taking advice from shamans’.

One theory is that Subbotin – who also owned a shipping company – was poisoned by toad venom triggering a heart attack.

In April, wealthy Vladislav Avayev, 51, a former Kremlin official, appeared to have taken his own life after killing his wife Yelena, 47, and daughter, 13.

He had high-level links to leading Russian financial institution Gazprombank.

Friends have disputed reports that he was jealous after his wife admitted she was pregnant by their driver.

There are claims he had access to the financial secrets of the Kremlin elite.

Former Kremlin official and Gazprombank vice-president Vladislav Avayev, 51, appeared to have taken his own life after killing his wife and one of his daughters in April

Russian gas tycoon Sergey Protosenya (pictured), his wife Natalya, 53, and their teenage daughter Maria were found dead in their Spanish mansion, in Lloret de Mar, on April 19

Ukrainian born multi-millionaire Yevgeny Palant, 47, and his wife Olga Palant, 50, were found stabbed to death in their family house in Moscow region last week

Several days later multimillionaire Sergey Protosenya, 55, was found hanged in Spain, after appearing to kill his wife Natalia, 53, and their teenage daughter, Maria, with an axe.

He was a former deputy chairman of Novatek, a company also closely linked to the Kremlin.

There have also been questions over the death of Putin’s point man for developing Russia’s vast Arctic resources who ‘fell overboard’ to his death from a boat sailing off the country’s Pacific coast.

Ivan Pechorin, 39, had recently attended a major conference hosted by the Kremlin warmonger in Vladivostok.

The high-flyer was managing director of Putin’s Far East and Arctic Development Corporation.

And in another case a mobile phone multi-millionaire and his wife were found stabbed to death, with the official version of events raising questions.

Naked Yevgeny Palant, 47, and his wife Olga, 50, both Ukrainian-born, were found with multiple knife wounds by their daughter Polina, 20.

Immediate briefing to the media claimed the woman took her own life in a jealous rage after Palant said he was leaving her.

Yet this was strongly disputed by the couple’s best friend.

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