Bruno Charles de Cooman, 61, was found dead on the pavement after apparently falling from his ninth-floor apartment around 3:50 p.m. on Wednesday, police sources say. De Cooman was a resident of the upscale House on the Embankment building.
A gruesome photo emerged showing Mr. De Cooman's legs jutting out from a plastic bag as police stood by. Authorities are investigating the incident but do not suspect criminal involvement.
Bruno Charles De Cooman, Vice President of Research and Development at Novolipetsk Steel, one of Russia’s four steel companies, 'falls to his death' in Moscow— Bren Buras-Elsen (@brenisphere) August 30, 2018
"A body was found near the House on the Embankment," sources told Russian media. "The preliminary cause of death is falling from a height, he most likely fell from a window."
De Cooman was appointed vice-president for Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK)'s research and development department in June 2017. Vladimir Lisin, Russia's wealthiest man worth £15 billion, controls the company.
NLMK group president Grigory Fedorishin has released an official company statement addressing the matter. "Bruno De Cooman's death is an enormous loss for the Group and the entire sector, for his friends and family," he stated. "He has made an invaluable contribution to the development of global steelmaking through product innovation."
"We are devastated by the news and pass our sincere condolences to Bruno's loved ones."
Mr. De Cooman graduated from Cornell University. Before joining NLMK, he worked in materials research and development at various international laboratories and helped optimize steelmaking processes, including for automotive, electrical, engineering, and constructive applications, the statement said.
Many Western news agencies have resorted to pointing the finger at the Russian state, accusing it of foul play and calling it a "mafia state", despite a lack of credible evidence or investigations.
Just a reminder how dealing with Putins mafia state ends up. Bruno Charles De Cooman fell out of window. pic.twitter.com/LQmCpyaTri— ללא כותרת (@qirille) August 29, 2018
"Two reporters, an opposition activist and an interior ministry general are among those to have fallen to their deaths from the windows or balconies of high buildings in Russia in recent years," the Times reported.
The London Independent deduced that "a spate of critical journalists, businessmen and politicians have met their end by falling from balconies" and that "suicide rates are high, and structural failure is not impossible, but the law of probability would suggest that some of these deaths involved external actors."
The BBC mentioned that Mr. Lisin has lost roughly four percent of his fortune, or $832 million in shares, since Russian President Vladimir Putin's economic advisor levied fresh taxes on mining companies.
"Mr Lisin has been the plan's most vocal critic," it implied.
The House on the Embankment building has long been associated with the Great Purge period (1936 to 1938) as many Soviet administrators were housed there. Around 40 apparent suicides were recorded and the building had one of the highest arrest and execution rates during Joseph Stalin's rule.