Nikolai Glushkov was found dead this spring at his home on the outskirts of London. At the time of his death, he was getting ready to defend himself against criminal allegations of theft during his time at Aeroflot and was reportedly set to reveal the airline’s role as part of Russia’s spy machine.
Nikolai Glushkov, the former Aeroflot deputy director for finance who died under suspicious circumstances in March of 2018, was ready to implicate the airline for what he believed was its role in Russia’s state spy apparatus, BoardingArea reports. At the time of his death, Glushkov was getting ready to defend himself against allegations that he had taken more than $100 million from the airline during his time there in the 1990s.
Glushkov was found dead in his house on the outskirts of London early this spring. At the time of his death, he had been tried in absentia by Russian authorities for stealing millions from the carrier. The UK refused to extradite Glushkov back to Russia, but had he returned, he would have faced years in prison for his alleged crimes.
The circumstances around his death remain murky and it is now reported that, in addition to preparing to defend himself against criminal allegations, Glushkov was getting ready to reveal the state carrier’s role in supporting Russia’s clandestine spy network. This includes activities such as handling payroll for those involved in spy operations and the shipping of illicit cargo.
Glushkov is said to have intimated that, during the mid-1990s, approximately 3,500 Aeroflot staff and employees may have worked for various branches of Russia’s intelligence services.
During his time at the carrier, the outlet reports that Glushkov found himself threatened by security personnel when he attempted to take over Aeroflot’s ticket sales revenue. In an excerpt from a witness statement, as quoted by the outlet, Glushkov said that he was told by one man – a former KGB general – that he would be imprisoned, “…if I continued to violate the rights of the FSB.”
The FSB is the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation.
Aeroflot has denied these allegations and was quoted as saying that it, “is not today, nor was it ever, a ‘paymaster for Russia’s security services.’ ”