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Ivan Sekretarev / AP

Russia's ambassador to Sudan was found dead Wednesday in Khartoum. That's the seventh Russian diplomat to have died since November last year, in addition to an aide to a former deputy prime minister, a lawyer for a Putin-foe, and a former Russian MP. All but two died on foreign soil. Some were shot, while other causes of death are unknown. Note that a few deaths have been labeled "heart attacks" or "brief illnesses." Here's what you need to know:

  1. You probably remember Russia's Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov — he was assassinated by a police officer at a photo exhibit in Ankara on December 19.
  2. On the same day, another diplomat, Peter Polshikov, was shot dead in his Moscow apartment. The gun was found under the bathroom sink but the circumstances of the death were under investigation. Polshikov served as a senior figure in the Latin American department of the Foreign Ministry.
  3. Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died in New York this past week. Churkin was rushed to the hospital from his office at Russia's UN mission. Initial reports said he suffered a heart attack, and the medical examiner is investigating the death, according to CBS.
  4. Russia's Ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin, died after a "brief illness" January 27, which The Hindu said he had been suffering from for a few weeks.
  5. Russian Consul in Athens, Greece, Andrei Malanin, was found dead in his apartment January 9. A Greek police official said there was "no evidence of a break-in." But Malanin lived on a heavily guarded street. The cause of death needed further investigation, per an AFP report. Malanin served during a time of easing relations between Greece and Russia when Greece was increasingly critiqued by the EU and NATO.
  6. On the morning of U.S. Election Day, Russian diplomat Sergei Krivov was found unconscious at the Russian Consulate in New York and died on the scene. Initial reports said Krivov fell from the roof and had blunt force injuries, but Russian officials said he died from a heart attack. BuzzFeed reports Krivov may have been a Consular Duty Commander, which would have put him in charge of preventing sabotage or espionage.
  7. Ex-KGB chief Oleg Erovinkin, who was suspected of helping draft the Trump dossier, was found dead in the back of his car December 26, according to The Telegraph. Erovinkin also was an aide to former deputy prime minister Igor Sechin, who now heads up state-owned Rosneft.
  8. A lawyer for a Putin-foe, Nikolai Gorokhov, was reportedly thrown from a window March 21 in Moscow. However, press outlets with ties to Russian security forces reported Gorkohov fell while trying to move a bathtub into his apartment. Gorokhov was set to testify as a U.S. government witness in a money laundering case in New York.
  9. A former Russian MP, Denis Voronenkov, was shot dead in Kiev March 23, according to the BBC. Voronenkov was to testify against deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and had ruffled feathers in Russia for calling the Crimean annexation illegal. Kiev police said it was likely a contract killing but the Kremlin rejected the remarks as "absurd."
  10. Russia's ambassador to Sudan, Mirgayas Shirinsky was found dead at his Khartoum home August 23. Per AFP he was found dead in the residence's swimming pool, although Sudanese police said he had died of natural causes. Russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said embassy staff called an ambulance but he "could not be saved."

Some history: In November 2015, a senior adviser to Putin, Mikhail Lesin, who was also the founder of the media company RT, was found dead in a Washington hotel room according to the NYT. The Russian media said it was a "heart attack," but the medical examiner said it was "blunt force injuries."

Two cases that are a little clearer: In 2006, former KGB officer and whistleblower Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with radioactive polonium. Six years later, whistleblower Alexander Perepilichny died from a toxin while jogging in England, per the NYT report.

Go deeper: BuzzFeed News has a team investigating a series of Russian-linked deaths (including Lesin, Litvinenko, and Perepilichny) well worth the read. Start with Part 1: "Poison in the System," here.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”