By Chris King •
Published: 12 Sep 2023 • 23:35
Image of Viktor Trukhin.
Credit: Mash on Telegram
A search operation is ongoing in Russia for the director of one of the country’s top state-run vaccine institutes.
Viktor Trukhin has allegedly not been seen since September 3 after disappearing in Moscow when his family reported him missing.
The 59-year-old was the head of St Petersburg’s Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums for 11 years but on September 4 he was accused of large-scale fraud by the Federal Medical Biological Agency (FMBA) and fired from his post as head of the facility.
According to the Mash telegram channel, Trukhin’s daughter last saw her father in the capital on the third of this month. They reported that an investigation had been launched, with specialised Moscow police officers assigned to his case.
‘This decision was not mine, unfortunately’, Trukhin is reported to have written in a farewell letter to the institute’s staff. A check of his Telegram and Whatsapp accounts showed that they had been opened for a short time on September 5, according to metro.co.uk.
The state-owned hi-tech defence conglomerate ROSTEC is known to be the facility’s biggest client. It is owned by the billionaire businessman Sergei Chemezov, who is a close associate of Vladimir Putin and one of the President’s former colleagues in the KGB.
St Petersburg’s Research Institute of Vaccines and Serums is Russia’s foremost facility dealing with developing drugs to tackle hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases, and the coronavirus.
It spearheads the field of health protection in Russia and is part of the FMBA. This state body is involved at the highest level in ensuring the country’s biological, radiation, and chemical safety.
Trukhin is known to have had access to, and would know all the details of Russia’s latest research and development in the field of vaccines, serums and ‘bacterial preparations’.
A dossier showing the missing lawyer’s alleged fraudulent activities has been handed to Russian law enforcement agencies according to FMBA.
One of Trukhin’s positions in St. Petersburg was as the honorary consul for Nicaragua. The institute he headed played a major role in the export of Russian vaccines. According to reports, vaccines were allegedly channeled through Nicaragua into South American countries.
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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.
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