Trump still wants to meet with Russian President

Russia's U.S. ambassador warns of consequences for Syria strikes

A Russian investigative journalist, who recently wrote about the deaths of Russian mercenaries in Syria, has died after falling from his 50th-floor balcony in the city of Yekaterinburg.

Local investigators said they were considering several possible causes of death but that no crime was suspected at this time, the BBC reported.

A friend of Borodin's, Vyacheslav Bashkov, wrote on Facebook on April 15 that Borodin contacted him at 5 a.m. on April 11 and said his building was surrounded by "security forces" wearing camouflage and face masks.

He said the door to Borodin's apartment was locked from the inside and there was no sign of forced entry.

Last year, he gave an interview to a Russian independent channel TV Rain and talked about the controversial film "Matilda", and was subsequently hit on the head by an unknown assailant with a metal pipe, according to a Facebook post.

Novy Den chief editor Polina Rumyantseva said Mr Borodin's death may not have been an accident or suicide.

But Borodin later called back to say he may have been mistaken about the masked men and that they were security personnel taking part in a training exercise, Bashkov said. There was no suicide note in his apartment, either, police said.


On February 7, the group made headlines when hundreds were killed in Syria in the first open confrontation with U.S. forces in more than 50 years after a manoeuvre took them across the dividing line between US-led and Russian-backed groups. In February, dozens - or possibly hundreds - of them reportedly died in a clash with USA troops near the town of Deir al-Zour.

The Wagner Group is believed to be bankrolled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was indicted in the United States in February on charges of funding a "troll factory" that tried to influence the 2016 presidential election.

As an investigative journalist, Borodin had written about many sensitive subjects over the course of his career. As the New Yorker noted, it was the first time in half a century that Russian and USA military forces had engaged in direct combat.

Russia ranks first in the European Federation of Journalists list of countries with the highest number of journalists murdered in Europe.

But Harlem Desir, the representative for freedom of the media at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe said Borodin's death was "of serious concern".

"I call on the authorities for a swift and thorough investigation", he tweeted.

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