Anti-Putin businessman ‘dies under mysterious circumstances’ in Washington DC

A Latvian-American businessman who made his money in Russia before becoming a critic of Putin has been found dead in the United States, according to Russian media.

Dan Rapoport, an investment banker, has reportedly killed himself in Washington DC in recent days – with the former editor of Russian magazine Tatler claiming his dog was found in a nearby park with cash and a suicide note .

But widow Alena, a Ukrainian virologist, denied taking her own life – saying ‘there was no note, no suicide’.

She claimed an inquest had been opened into her death, but there does not appear to have been any announcement in America that an inquest was underway.

Mr Rapoport lived in DC between 2012 – when he arrived from Russia amid protests against Putin – and 2016, when he moved to Kyiv and rented his house to Ivanka and Jared Trump after Donald’s election victory Trump.

Dan Rapoport

Dan Rapoport (left and right), a Latvian-American businessman who made his fortune in Russia, has been found dead in Washington DC aged 52

He appears to have left Kyiv earlier this year after the outbreak of war with Russia and spent time in the United States, although it is unclear where he was based.

It was in Kyiv that Mr Rapoport met and married Alena – his second wife – and had a daughter with her.

News of Mr Rapoport’s death was first announced on Tuesday on the Telegram channel of Yuniya Pugacheva, the former editor-in-chief of Russia’s Tatler.

Pugacheva said the CFO had “committed suicide in Washington DC” before giving details of the dog and the suicide note.

She also claimed to have seen Mr Rapoport in May at the chic Connaught Bar in London, alleging he was there “in the company of young girls”.

“They say his wife left him,” she added.

But, speaking to the Russian RBC newswire, Alena disputed the majority of that account.

She confirmed his death, telling the site: “To our great regret, the husband and father of our daughter is no longer.”

Russian media claim Mr Rapoport killed himself and left a note, but his wife Alena disputes this and says an investigation is currently underway

Russian media claim Mr Rapoport killed himself and left a note, but his wife Alena disputes this and says an investigation is currently underway

Mr Rapoport lived in Washington DC from 2012 – upon his return from Russia – until 2016, when he moved to Kyiv and rented his house from Ivanka and Jared Trump.

Mr Rapoport lived in Washington DC from 2012 – upon his return from Russia – until 2016, when he moved to Kyiv and rented his house from Ivanka and Jared Trump.

But, she added: “There were no notes, no suicide, no trip to London, no separation.”

Alena did not say exactly when her husband died or provide another cause of death, but said investigations were ongoing.

“We were supposed to meet, he had dates and plans,” she added.

‘Dan evacuated us from Kyiv and returned there to help my country. Then we were to meet in the United States.

Besides his support for Navalny – who is currently imprisoned in Russia and has been placed in solitary confinement in recent days – Mr Rapoport was staunchly pro-Ukrainian.

In 2018, investigative website Bellingcat named him the man behind ‘David Jewberg’ – a ‘Pentagon analyst’ and expert on Ukraine-Russia relations, frequently cited by media in both countries .

Typical “Jewberg” posts criticized Putin, criticized the war in Ukraine he started in 2014 and pressured the United States to take a tougher stance against him.

In fact, “Jewberg” turned out to be fictional with the account actually run by Mr. Rapoport with the support of a circle of friends.

In 2017, Sergei Tkachenko – a business partner of Mr Rapoport who co-owned his nightclub in Moscow – also died suddenly and is believed to have taken his own life.

Mr Rapoport was born in Latvia when it was part of the Soviet Union and moved to America with his family in 1980 after being granted political asylum.

Cheese fries

Navalny

Mr Rapoport was a critic of Putin (left) and backed arch-enemy Alexei Navalny (right, in jail) and is believed to have left Russia due to his political activities

Mr Rapoport has also been denounced as the man behind

Mr Rapoport was also exposed as the man behind ‘David Jewberg’, an anti-Russia ‘Pentagon official’ who turned out to be a fake character (pictured, an image used to create the character)

He graduated from the University of Houston in 1991 – the same year the Union collapsed – then returned to Russia to work in finance and banking.

Mr Rapoport has become a well-known face in post-Soviet Moscow through his ownership of popular nightclub Soho Rooms.

But around 2011 he became involved in opposition politics amid a wave of protests over what was widely seen as a fraudulent election.

He returned to the United States in 2012 with his wife Irina – a former model – and their two children, and remained in the city until 2016.

Following the divorce from his first wife, he rented his house from the Trumps and left for Kyiv where he set up another investment company and got into politics again.

He met and married Alena, but fled the city when Putin re-invaded Ukraine in February this year.

Mr Rapoport moved his family out of the country, according to Alena, and was spending time in the United States while trying to bring them over.

It is unclear if he was permanently based in the United States at this time.

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