General Alexei Maslov, a former Russian army chief with ties to Ukraine, died "suddenly" at the age of 69, a day after President Putin abruptly cancelled a trip to the general's workplace in Nizhny Tagil.

The general used to work at the Uralvagonzavod machine building company. The plant is the world's largest tank manufacturer. According to local media reports, Putin cancelled his trip to the plant on December 25 "at the last minute" without giving any reasons.

Uralvagonzavod officials described the general as a "distinguished commander who made a valiant journey from a platoon commander to the commander-in-chief of the ground forces." But they did not reveal the cause of his death.

According to a report in The Mirror, the plant has been the subject of criticism for "not producing sufficient tanks," as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues.

General Maslov studied at a top military college in Ukraine. He began his military career in Soviet Ukraine. He commanded Russia's ground forces between 2004 and 2008 and was later posted as the country's chief military representative to NATO in Brussels.

His death came days after the "sudden death" of a high-ranking navy official who was in charge of submarine building.

On Saturday, a Russian businessman and lawmaker named Pavel Antov was found dead in a hotel in the Indian state of Odisha.

The multi-millionaire died after falling from the third floor of his hotel in the Rayagada district of the state on Saturday. He died just two days after his fellow traveller, Vladimir Budanov, also died at the same hotel.

Antov was also a fervent critic of Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine. He had recently criticised Russian attacks on Ukraine, but retracted the statement soon after. In June, he had described the war as Russian "terror."

He later retracted the statement and made a "grovelling apology." He insisted that he had "always supported the president" and "sincerely" supported Putin's "special military operation" in Ukraine.

Putin Accuses U.S. Of Trying To 'Deliberately' Add Fuel To The Fire With Ukraine War
Putin Accuses U.S. Of Trying To 'Deliberately' Add Fuel To The Fire With Ukraine War