- Vladimir Sviridov and his wife were dead for a week before they were found
- The Lieutenant General left the military after criticising Russia’s military
- Russian authorities are still trying to find the cause of their deaths
A former commander of Russian air defences has been found dead alongside his wife under mysterious circumstances.
Highly-decorated Lieutenant General Vladimir Sviridov, 68, and his wife Tatyana, 72, were dead for around a week before their corpses were found, it is reported.
The retired pilot once criticised Vladimir Putin for running a ‘third-ranking’ air force, warning top officers were leaving the armed forces because of dire pay and conditions.
Russian authorities have been unable to ascertain the cause of death, local media reported.
The general and his wife were found in their home in the village of Adzhievsky in Stavropol region.
Highly-decorated Lieutenant General Vladimir Sviridov, 68, (pictured) and his wife Tatyana, 72, were dead for around a week before their corpses were found
Sviridov’s death is the latest in a long line of deaths under mysterious circumstances that many believe have been orchestrated by Vladimir Putin (pictured)
He left Russia’s military after he made a series of scathing comments about the army
‘Gas service workers have already taken measurements and no excess of the permissible concentration of harmful substances has been detected,’ an initial report into their death read.
‘What caused the death of Vladimir and Tatyana Sviridov is still unknown.’
Sviridov commanded the 6th Army of the Russian Air Force and Air Defence from 2005 to 2009 in an appointment made by Putin.
He was an honoured Pilot of Russia and earlier had served as a military sniper pilot.
He had been awarded the Order of the Red Star and a clutch of medals.
Sviridov left his commander’s role at 54 years old, after making a series of scathing public comments about the Russian armed forces.
He warned in one interview: ‘A pilot must have about 100 hours of flight time per year for full combat readiness.
‘However, this is not yet the case. The average flight time in the army is currently 25-30 hours.’
In another interview, he complained: ‘We are forced to appoint not fully trained officers because there are no better ones.
‘For the same reason we are sending to military academies third-ranking pilots.
‘This did not happen in the past.’
Sviridov commanded the 6th Army of the Russian Air Force and Air Defence from 2005 to 2009 in an appointment made by Putin
Russian authorities are still trying to figure out how the decorated commander and his wife died
He was an honoured Pilot of Russia and earlier had served as a military sniper pilot
Low salaries and poor housing provision meant experienced officers leave the military as soon as they can.
‘One in two of our officers, unfortunately, has no accommodation,’ he revealed.
‘Up to 10 per cent of young officers are doing everything possible to retire early.’
He told Putin to ‘create normal living conditions for young officers, as well as for all servicemen, so that they can properly perform their service duties’.
Russia has been hit by a spate of suspicious deaths since the start of Putin’s war against Ukraine, with figures from across the country seemingly being targeted by the Kremlin.
In August, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the private military company Wagner, died after his plane crashed 185 mile north of Moscow.
Many believe his death was ordered by Putin, after Prigozhin led a column of Wagner tanks up towards Moscow, following months of disagreement between his mercenaries and Russia’s defence ministry.