Former commander who criticised Putin for the state of Russia’s air force is mysteriously found dead alongside his wife

A former Russian air defense commander has been found dead under mysterious circumstances with his wife.

Highly decorated Lieutenant General Vladimir Sviridov, 68, and his wife Tatyana, 72, had been dead for about a week before their bodies were found, it is reported.

The retired pilot once criticized Vladimir Putin for running a “third tier” air force, warning that top officers would leave the armed forces due to dire pay and conditions.

Russian authorities have been unable to determine the cause of death, local media report.

The general and his wife were found in their home in the village of Adzhievsky in the Stavropol region.

Highly decorated Lieutenant General Vladimir Sviridov, 68, (pictured) and his wife Tatyana, 72, had been dead for about a week before their bodies were found

Sviridov's death is the latest in a long line of deaths under mysterious circumstances that many believe were orchestrated by Vladimir Putin (pictured)

Sviridov’s death is the latest in a long line of deaths under mysterious circumstances that many believe were orchestrated by Vladimir Putin (pictured)

He left the Russian army after making a series of scathing comments about the military

He left the Russian army after making a series of scathing comments about the military

“Employees of the gas service have already taken measurements and no exceedance of the permitted concentration of harmful substances has been found,” according to an initial report on their deaths.

“What caused the death of Vladimir and Tatyana Sviridov is still unknown.”

Sviridov commanded the 6th Army of the Russian Air Force and Air Defense from 2005 to 2009, by Putin’s appointment.

He was an Honored Pilot of Russia and had previously served as a military sniper pilot.

He was awarded the Order of the Red Star and a series of medals.

Sviridov left his role as commander at the age of 54, after making a series of scathing public comments about Russia’s armed forces.

He warned in an interview: ‘A pilot needs about 100 flying hours per year to be fully combat ready.

‘However, that is not yet the case. The average flight time in the military is currently 25-30 hours.”

In another interview he complained: ‘We are forced to appoint less than fully trained officers because there are no better ones.

“We send third-rank pilots to military academies for the same reason.

“This didn’t happen in the past.”

Sviridov commanded the 6th Army of the Russian Air Force and Air Defense from 2005 to 2009, by appointment made by Putin

Sviridov commanded the 6th Army of the Russian Air Force and Air Defense from 2005 to 2009, by appointment made by Putin

Russian authorities are still trying to determine how the decorated commander and his wife died

Russian authorities are still trying to determine how the decorated commander and his wife died

He was an Honored Pilot of Russia and had previously served as a military sniper pilot

He was an Honored Pilot of Russia and had previously served as a military sniper pilot

Low salaries and poor housing caused experienced officers to leave the army as quickly as possible.

“One in two of our officers are unfortunately without shelter,” he revealed.

‘Up to 10 percent of young officers are doing everything they can to retire early.’

He told Putin to “create normal living conditions for young officers, but also for all military personnel, so that they can properly fulfill their service duties.”

Russia has been hit by a wave of suspicious deaths since the start of Putin’s war against Ukraine, with figures from across the country appearing to be targeted by the Kremlin.

In August, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the private military company Wagner, died after his plane crashed 300 kilometers north of Moscow.

Many believe Putin ordered his death after Prigozhin led a column of Wagner tanks towards Moscow, following months of disagreement between his mercenaries and the Russian Defense Ministry.