A former Russian commander who once critizised President Putin for running a “third-rate” air force, has been found dead alongside his wife at their home in the village of Adzhievsky in Stavropol region.

According to reports, Lieutenant General Vladimir Sviridov, 68, and his wife Tatyana, 72, had been dead for around a week before their bodies were found on Nov. 15.

The Russian Telegram channel Baza said there were no signs of violence and no toxic substances were found in the blood of either victim, according to preliminary tests.

“Gas service workers have already taken measurements and no excess of the permissible concentration of harmful substances has been detected,” Baza wrote.

It added: “What caused the death of Vladimir and Tatyana Sviridov is still unknown.”

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Russian state media has yet to report on the deaths.

Sviridov was the commander of the 6th Army of the Air Force and Air Defense of Russia from 2005 to 2009 and during the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008.

During his time in the position, he complained about the conditions and poor training of Russian pilots.

In one interview, he said: “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, he said: “We are forced to appoint not fully trained officers because there are no better ones.

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“For the same reason we are sending to military academies third-ranking pilots. This did not happen in the past.”

Previous to the public falling out, Putin awarded Sviridov the title “Honored Pilot of Russia” in 2005.

It’s not the first mysterious high-profile death since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

In February, FSB Major General Vladimir Makarov was found shot dead at his home near Moscow in an apparent suicide after being sacked by Putin.

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And as for Russian businesspeople found dead during the past two years, there are so many that there is a Wikipedia page dedicated to the topic.

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