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Investigation opened into murder of researcher that helped develop Sputnik V vaccine

Law enforcement agencies said the murder was a domestic crime and the result of a conflict

MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. The Russian Investigative Committee has started looking into the murder of a man in the northwest of Moscow, the agency’s Moscow office has told reporters.

A representative of law enforcement agencies has told TASS that the victim is Andrey Botikov, a senior researcher at the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, who helped to create the Sputnik V vaccine.

"The Khoroshevo interdistrict investigative department of the investigative department of the northwestern administrative district of the main investigative department of the Russian Investigative Committee for the city of Moscow has opened a criminal case based on an act constituting an offence provided for by Part 1 of Article 105 of the Russian Criminal Code (‘Murder’)," the Moscow office of the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

According to investigators, on March 2, in an apartment of a building on Rogova Street in Moscow, a 29-year-old young man strangled the 47-year-old owner of the apartment with a belt during an argument and fled.

"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.

Law enforcement agencies said the murder was a domestic crime and the result of a conflict.