A former Russian governor who sued President Vladimir Putin over his dismissal has died at age 58 from coronavirus complications, Interfax reported Thursday.
Mikhail Ignatyev was hospitalized in critical condition with pneumonia in both lungs and placed on oxygen support last month. He became the first ex-governor to sue Putin over what he said was wrongful dismissal for “loss of trust” in January.
An unnamed source in the republic of Chuvashia’s administration told Interfax that its former governor Ignatyev had Covid-19.
Doctors at the St. Petersburg hospital where was being treated later clarified that Ignatyev died from heart failure.
“The situation was aggravated by double pneumonia,” said Raisa Konashkova, assistant chief medical officer at the Almazov National Medical Research Center.
The Kremlin called the news of Ignatyev’s death “very sad” and said it extends condolences to the families of everyone who had died from Covid-19. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin did not plan to make “any special statements” in the wake of Ignatyev’s death.
Putin relieved Ignatyev from his 10-year governorship after the governor made headlines for calls to “wipe out” journalists who criticize the authorities and for dangling engine keys over a firefighter at a ceremony honoring them.
Russia’s Supreme Court was set to hear Ignatyev’s case against his dismissal on June 30.
Ignatyev’s funeral is scheduled for this Sunday in the Chuvash capital of Cheboksary 650 kilometers east of Moscow.