A senior researcher at the Gamaleya National Research Center for Ecology and Mathematics, Andrey Botikov, who played a crucial role in the development of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, was found dead in his Moscow apartment on March 2. The 47-year-old virologist had been strangled to death with a belt, according to reports.
Botikov was one of the 18 scientists who developed the Sputnik V vaccine in 2020 and had been awarded the Order of Merit for the Fatherland by Russian President Vladimir Putin for his work on the Covid vaccine in 2021. His death is being investigated as a murder by Russian authorities.
The investigation revealed that a 29-year-old man had strangled Botikov with a belt during an argument and fled the scene. The suspect was later arrested, and the federal investigative agency said in a statement that the defendant had a previous criminal record and stood trial on charges of committing a serious crime.
Authorities have said that the murder was a domestic crime and the result of a conflict. The investigation plans to petition the court to place the defendant in custody pending trial.
The tragic death of Andrey Botikov has raised concerns about the safety of scientists working on Covid-19 vaccines around the world. The scientific community has expressed their condolences and called for better protection for those working in high-stress environments.
The development of Covid-19 vaccines has been a top priority for governments worldwide, and scientists like Andrey Botikov have played a critical role in developing safe and effective vaccines. His death is a loss not only to his family but also to the scientific community at large.
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