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Ukraine Journalist and 'Personal Enemy' of Vladimir Putin Found Dead Hours After 54th Birthday

Did the Kremlin play a role?

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a state award ceremony honoring participants of the Olympic and Paralympics Games in Sochi in the Kremlin, March 24, 2014 in Moscow, Russia. Putin awarded Russian citizens and also citizens of other countries for the successful preparations of the games. Among the guests at the award ceremony were coaches, athletes, the chiefs of sports federations, journalists, officials, and constructors. Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)

A Ukrainian journalist who reportedly considered himself a "personal enemy" of Russian President Vladimir Putin was found dead in his apartment on Sunday, the day after he had celebrated his 54th birthday.

The Kyiv Operatyvny reported Alexander Shchetinin was found dead on his Kiev apartment balcony by friends who had come to congratulate him. The 54-year-old reportedly suffered a gunshot wound to his head. A gun was found beneath his chair, the Unian news agency reported.

The mysterious death is being investigated as a suicide. According to the Daily Caller, Shchetinin recently told a relative in an email that he planned on killing himself.

Shchetinin was the founder of the Novy Region news agency. He had previously relocated to Ukraine after renouncing his Russian citizenship and considered himself a "personal enemy" of Putin, raising questions about the true cause of his death.

Great Britain's Sky News last month published a list of individuals who were critical of Putin and who died under mysterious circumstances.

Among them were 48-year-old journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was also critical of the Kremlin. Politkovskaya was fatally shot at her Moscow apartment on Oct. 7, 2006, which is also Putin's birthday.

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