Alexei Devotchenko during a solo performance of Sasha Cherny’s Concerto for Piano and Artist. Photo: gogolcenter.comA WELL-KNOWN Russian actor who was an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin has been found dead in suspicious circumstances at his home in Moscow.
Alexei Devotchenko, 49, who was known for his roles in several popular television drama series, was discovered in his apartment, reportedly in a pool of blood, in north Moscow, the Telegraph reports.
The highly regarded actor had long been opposed to the rule of Putin, describing it as “tsar-state stuff”.
A Ukrainian news site reported that Devotchenko had been found murdered and “lying in a pool of his own blood”.
In 2012 the actor was attacked and “almost killed” in a horrific attack at a metro station in Moscow, Ukraine’s The Interpreter reported.
In a damning blog post published recently, the fearless Devotchenko slammed the Putin regime for its “lies, its cover-ups, its legalised theft, its bribe-taking and its other triumphs.”
In 2011, Devotchenko even went so far as to renounce two acting prizes “received from Putin’s hands”, saying he was “ashamed” to win them.
A law enforcement source refused to link Devotchenko’s death to signs of foul play.
“There is reason to suppose that the artist’s death is of a criminal character,” he toldThe Telegraph.
But some in Russia have drawn a “lethal” link between his work as an anti-Putin crusader and his untimely death, suggesting foul play was involved.
Devotchenko became a celebrity for his roles in Bandit Petersburg and The Street of Broken Lamps. He was also a lauded theatre actor who performed with the Moscow Art Theatre.
In a country where criticism of the ruling government is taboo, Devotchenko made no attempts to hide his hatred for the Kremlin.
In 2010 he urged fellow actors, artists and musicians to boycott “ultra-patriotic, propagandistic, chauvinistic, anti-Semitic, or pro-Stalinist feature films and television projects” and “agitprop documentaries”.
He also called on them not to take part in Kremlin-linked banquets.
A pro-Kremlin website said Devotchenko may have died after striking his head in a fall while drunk.
LifeNews said the actor was found surrounded by empty whisky bottles and packets of prescription pills.