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Russian deputy minister who criticized "fascist invasion" of Ukraine dies after traveling to Cuba

Senior officer Piotr Kucherenko, 46, fell seriously ill aboard a flight returning from Havana

Banderas de Cuba y Rusia
Banderas de Cuba y Rusia | Shutterstock

May 23, 2023 9:05am

Updated: May 23, 2023 9:05am

Russian Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education Piotr Kucherenko, 46, died suddenly while returning to Moscow after an official visit to Cuba.

According to a report in the newspaper La Razón, the official participated in a recent session of the Cuba-Russia Intergovernmental Commission, held in Havana the previous week.

Cuban dictator, Miguel Díaz-Canel, confirmed the news personally on his social networks.


"It is with deep sorrow that we learned of the death of Russian Deputy Minister Piotr Aleksandrovich Kucherenko, upon his return to his country after the Intergovernmental Commission was held in our nation. Our most heartfelt condolences to his family, the Russian government and people," Díaz-Canel wrote in Twitter this Monday.

A Moscow Times report noted that Kucherenko had privately acknowledged a few months ago that he was against Russia's "fascist invasion" of Ukraine.

The official report indicates that the vice minister became seriously ill on board the flight in which he was returning from Cuba on Saturday.

Russia's Ministry of Science and Higher Education said in a statement that the flight made an emergency landing in southern Russia, but doctors were unable to save the official.

For his part, Kucherenko's family stated that he had died of a heart condition and that he would not give more details until the autopsy was performed next Wednesday.