Russian scientist who co-created Sputnik V Covid vaccine found strangled to death in his Moscow home

Russian scientist who created Sputnik V Covid vaccine found strangled to death in his Moscow home

Image of scientist Andrey Botikov. Credit: Linkedin Andrey Botikov

Andrey Botikov, one of the scientists who created the Sputkik V coronavirus vaccine was found strangled to death with a belt in his Moscow apartment.

A murder investigation has been launched by Russia’s investigative committee after the discovery of the body of Andrey Botikov. The scientist was found strangled to death with a belt yesterday, Thursday, March 2, inside his Moscow apartment on Rogov Street in the metropolitan area of ​​Shchukino.

Telegram channels were the first to report this incident, but later the information was confirmed to RIA Novosti and RBC by sources from law enforcement agencies, as reported by

Botikov was one of 18 scientists credited in 2020 with creating the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. A 29-year-old man was detained in connection with the incident. He was arrested ‘in the shortest possible time’, after attempting to flee from the scene, according to the Investigative Committee of Russia.

An intruder had allegedly broken into 48-year-old Botikov’s home and confronted him about money according to a previous report. During the subsequent interrogation, the detainee – named as Alexei Zmanovsky – is said to have confessed to the scientist’s murder. In addition to Zmanovsky, the police detained his 18-year-old girlfriend, Olga Duboiska.

According to the Telegram channels, Zmanovsky went to visit Botikov in his apartment, where they had an argument that ended in murder. The 29-year-old man stole the personal belongings of the deceased and fled. Olga Duboiska was allegedly waiting for him at the entrance all this time.

Zmanovsky had already been prosecuted previously for another ‘serious’ crime said the committee. Russian media outlets reported that after being prosecuted on charges of providing sex services, the detainee had spent 10 years in prison. There have been unverified suggestions in the media that the ‘intruder’ was actually a ‘houseguest’ coming to offer sexual services.

Andrey Botikov originally worked as a senior scientist at the Russian State Collection of Viruses D.I. Ivanovsky Institute of Virology. He then took up a post at the National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology as a senior researcher.

His work as part of the Sputnik V team earned Botikov an Order of Merit for the Fatherland. The vaccine came in for a lot of criticism after allegedly being rushed onto the market without the necessary research into its efficacy and safety being carried out. However, it ‘appeared safe and effective’ said an article published in The Lancet medical journal in 2021.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at