It's a tried and true method of dispatching your enemies:
A prominent regional journalist investigating crime, politics and the war in Syria has died following a fall from a window of his fourth-floor apartment in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city.
Maxim Borodin, 32, was found by neighbours on the ground outside his apartment on Friday. He died in hospital two days later, without ever regaining consciousness.
Of course, the authorities aren't gonna admit to much:
Police say there were no signs of forced entry into his apartment, and the door was locked from the inside. But friends and colleagues have said they are suspicious of the circumstances surrounding his death.
Locked from the inside proves nothing, but don't worry about that. It hadn't gone well for Mr. Borodin in recent months:
Mr Borodin was well-known for delving into Yekaterinburg’s criminal underworld. He was among those who broke the story of unreported deaths in the Kremlin’s shadow armies fighting in Syria. He also published investigations into Russia’s religious right, and the violent protests around “Matilda”, a supposedly blasphemous film depicting a love affair between Tsar Nicholas II and a young ballerina.
As one of only few investigative voices in the region, Mr Borodin often felt the brunt of official and criminal displeasure. Just two weeks ago, he was in intensive care with a major head injury. And in October, he was hit over the head with a metal pipe – that attack he linked to his work covering the Matilda protests.
There are places where being a journalist is a dangerous job. It rarely is here, but it's worth remembering the price you pay for running afoul of those in charge in a place like Russia.