Top Putin weapons designer, 46, dies in mysterious circumstances ‘undergoing treatment for anxiety and depression’ as war rages in Ukraine

  • Dmitry Konoplev was head of weapons firm Shipunov Instrument Design Bureau
  • Konoplev reportedly died while receiving treatment for anxiety and depression
  • The 46-year-old was receiving Xenon therapy using an oxygen mask at a clinic 

One of Vladimir Putin’s top weapons designers has died in mysterious circumstances as he ‘underwent treatment to combat anxiety disorders and depression’.

Dmitry Konoplev, 46, headed the defence-related Shipunov Instrument Design Bureau, which is behind the lethal Pantsir missile system used in the war in Ukraine.

In total, the organisation is responsible for more than 150 weapons and pieces of military equipment used by the Russian Army.

Previously, Konoplev was deputy director of Russia’s Federal Agency for the Supply of Weapons, Military, Special Equipment and Materials.

He evidently died after suffering acute anxiety.

Initial reports said doctors could not establish the weapon guru’s cause of death.

One of Vladimir Putin's top weapons designers Dmitry Konoplev (pictured) died in mysterious circumstances as he 'underwent treatment to combat anxiety disorders and depression'

One of Vladimir Putin’s top weapons designers Dmitry Konoplev (pictured) died in mysterious circumstances as he ‘underwent treatment to combat anxiety disorders and depression’

Putin's ex-bodyguard Alexey Dyumin (pictured speaking with Putin) - governor of Tula region where the bureau is based - said Konoplev 'has done a lot for the country's defence industry'

Putin’s ex-bodyguard Alexey Dyumin (pictured speaking with Putin) – governor of Tula region where the bureau is based – said Konoplev ‘has done a lot for the country’s defence industry’

But later, Izvestia reported he suffered an ‘acute heart attack’ while undergoing Xenon therapy wearing an oxygen mask at an elite Moscow clinic.

The treatment, which sees patients inhale Xenon which has been found to have properties similar to that of antidepressants, is used to counter anxiety, depression, neurological diseases and sleep problems.

With war unleashed by Putin raging in Ukraine, Konoplev was reported to have been suffering anxiety and headaches.

There have been no official comments on the cause of death.

But Putin’s former bodyguard and close crony Alexey Dyumin – governor of Tula region where the weapons design bureau is based – said Konoplev ‘has done a lot for the country’s defence industry’, making a ‘great contribution’.

The Shipunov Instrument Design Bureau, also known as KBP Instrument Design Bureau, is behind a wide range of weapons used by Putin’s invading forces in Ukraine.

Pictured: the Shipunov Instrument Design Bureau in Tula where Konoplev worked

Pictured: the Shipunov Instrument Design Bureau in Tula where Konoplev worked

These include anti-tank missile systems, armament complexes of lightly armoured vehicles and tanks, guided weapons artillery systems, air defence systems, missile systems, and small-gun and grenade launcher weapons.

His bureau is described as Putin’s lead developer of complex weapons, coordinating the work of a large number of enterprises and organisations, including the institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and those of the Ministry of Defence.

Russia has suffered a spate of deaths linked to the gas and oil sectors during the war with Ukraine, and in the buildup to hostilities.

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