Brussels 06.11.2021 Germany’s Foreign Ministry on Friday, November 5, confirmed the death of a diplomat outside the Russian Embassy in Berlin last month. News magazine Der Spiegel reported the 35-year-old was found early morning hours on October 19 after having fallen from an upper floor of the Embassy.
Police in Berlin declined to comment and referred questions to the public prosecutors.
The Russian Embassy had not agreed to an autopsy, according to sources in the security services cited by Der Spiegel. It was therefore unclear how the reported agent died.The man was officially serving at the Russian Embassy in the capacity of Second secretary. Der Spiegel reports the Embassy would only call it “a tragic accident” and added it would refrain from further comment “for ethical reasons.”
Bellingcat reports that the diplomat is the son of Gen. Alexey Zhalo, the Deputy director of the FSB’s Second Directorate and head of the FSB’s Directorate for Protection of Constitutional Order, which handles terrorism cases. Officers from the latter directorate shadowed Alexei Navalny prior to his poisoning.
Christo Grozev of Bellingcat told DW the diplomat’s death created “some confusion within the German security apparatus as to what this meant,” whether it was an accident or due to some internal power struggle or purge.
“It took the German authorities some time to figure out whether it was something to even talk about,” Grozev said.