Andrey Botikov, a Russian scientist who worked on the Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V, was found dead in his Moscow apartment on Thursday. According to Russian media reports, he was strangled to death with a belt.
The suspect was arrested by police hours after Botikov’s body was found, the federal investigative agency said in the statement.
According to investigators, the 29-year-old suspect strangled Botikov with a belt during an argument. Law enforcement agencies said the murder was a domestic crime and the result of a conflict, the report said.
The investigating authority in Russia said that the death of the virologist is being investigated as a murder.
“The location of the attacker was established in short order. During the interrogation, he pled guilty and was charged. The defendant has a previous criminal record, as he stood trial on charges of committing a serious crime. In the near future, the investigation plans to petition the court to place the defendant in custody pending trial,” the Investigative Committee said.
In 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded the virologist the Order of Merit for Fatherland for his work on the Covid vaccine. Botikov was one of 18 scientists who created the Sputnik V vaccine in 2020.
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