The ex-wife of a Russian senator and business mogul jailed for organising contract killings has been found dead in her home.
Irina Izmestieva, 52, also known as Irina Ford, was discovered lifeless on the sofa of her £10 million apartment in London on Friday by her friends.
The mum-of-two had come to the UK in 2007 and had become part of high society, even being pictured alongside Prince Harry in 2012, the Daily Mail reports.
Her ex-husband, Igor, had been sentenced to life in a high security prison in Russia, over contract killings 13 years ago, after reportedly being close to Vladimir Putin.
Her sudden death has prompted calls for an investigation to be launched into the circumstances, with a number of Russians dying of suspicious circumstances in the UK.
Evgeny Chichvarkin, a Russian exile based in London, said: “I very much hope that the UK's special services will investigate this case properly, thoroughly, and, perhaps, one day we'll learn what happened.
“In the past few years Irina Izmestieva was an active participant of a property dispute details of which I have no right to disclose.
“At another turn of this dispute she was found dead.”
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Miranda Mirianshvili, 49, a close friend of Izmestieva posted on Instagram that the 52-year-old had died “unexpectedly”.
The post read: “She was coughing, they said, taking antibiotics, and had not felt well for a few days… It’s not Covid.
“They found her sleeping on the couch at their home in London. That is, they found her no longer alive.
“Please pray for the newly departed Irina, a wonderful mother to her twin girls, a sister, and daughter, a heroic wife, a faithful, magnificent friend of mine. Few in the world are as bright, loyal, strong, and beautiful.
“Ira (Irina) was always there when she felt that she could help, without words or requests she did exactly what was needed.”
The London Ambulance Service told the Daily Mail: “We were called at 7:11pm on November 12 to reports of an incident at a residential address in Cottesmore Gardens, W8.
“We sent an ambulance crew and two medics in cars. Sadly, a person died at the scene.”
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