Russian intelligence chief dies while swimming: reports

28th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

The deputy head of Russia's powerful military intelligence agency has died mysteriously in a swimming accident, Russian media reported on Saturday.

"Several days ago, General Yuri Ivanov died while swimming," official news agency RIA Novosti quoted a military source as saying.

The report did not give any further details on the circumstances of the death, or the location.

Ivanov was deputy head of the GRU, the overseas intelligence gathering arm of the Russian military.

Daily Kommersant said in a report on its website that the 52-year-old had died "tragically", wording that was repeated in an obituary in defence ministry newspaper Red Star, which also failed to provide any details.

During the Soviet era the GRU was considered a rival to the KGB, the secret service, now known as the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

© 2010 AFP

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