A top Russian general who knew the secrets of a £1billion palace believed to belong to Vladimir Putin has died in prison.
General Gennady Lopyrev, 69, is the second senior tyrant man to die in just 24 hours.
A number of Putin’s cronies are said to have died under mysterious circumstances since the outbreak of war in Ukraine.
It was announced on Wednesday that 58-year-old Colonel-General Gennady Zhidko was found dead of an unknown illness after his release from the military command.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Lopyrev suddenly fell ill and, gasping for breath, doctors told him he was suffering from previously undiagnosed leukemia.
However, there are suspicions that he was poisoned just as he was eligible for parole.
The general was sentenced to 10 years in prison by a military court in 2017 on charges of bribery and illegal possession of ammunition, charges he has always denied.
Service in the Federal Protection Service [FSO]He personally oversaw the construction of Putin’s cliff-top Gelendzhik Palace, a private residence said to have been built with state funds.
He was also responsible for the official residence of the dictator Bocharov Ruchei in Sochi.
Until his imprisonment, he was one of Putin’s closest security advisers and was spotted in Moscow in 2002 with Russian President and then British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Some saw his conviction on fabricated allegations to get him out of the way.
Lopyrev appeared healthy while speaking to his son Alexander on Monday.
But on Monday he suddenly complained of speech and breathing difficulties, reported the Telegram channel VChK-OGPU.
The broadcaster compared the symptoms to those of Putin’s enemy Alexei Navalny, who was poisoned with the neurotoxin Novichok.
Lopyrev was taken Monday from Penal Colony No. 3 in the Ryazan region to two hospitals where doctors at the second hospital claimed he had leukemia after doctors at the first found no conclusive results.
Lopyrev’s son said: “I spoke to the head of her medical department who said his heart exam was normal and the lungs were clear.
“It’s hard to say what exactly happened. We prepared to apply for parole because it was time [to apply].
“And now this call [to say he had died]. It’s all very strange and way too fast.”
His father was fit and walked nine miles a day in his penal colony and also did gymnastics.
Viktor Boborykin, chairman of the region’s public surveillance commission, said there was “nothing criminal” about his death.
Navalny had previously stated that Lopyrev was responsible for Gelendzhik and knew all the secrets of its funding.
The palace includes a pole dance shisha boudoir, a casino and an “aqua disco”.
It features a 16-story underground complex that’s been likened to a James Bond villain’s hideout.
A mining engineer who worked on the construction said it was built for the president and “there’s a whole anthill in the rock under the house,” including a nuclear fallout shelter.
The underground labyrinth includes a cliff-side loggia overlooking the sea and a vast wine cellar — but the Kremlin denied it was built for Putin.
Lopyrev was convicted of £50,000 worth of bribery but around £8.3million was reportedly found in his possession.
His death followed that of Colonel Gennady Zhidko, 58, a former deputy defense minister and wartime commander.
Shidko had been relieved of his role as supervisor of the Ukraine conflict by Putin.
He is said to have died after a “long illness”.