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Russian Officials Investigate Death Of Leading Communist

Viktor Ilyukhin in 2009

Viktor Ilyukhin in 2009

Russian officials say an investigation has been launched into the death of Communist Party member Viktor Ilyukhin, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Russia's Communist Party (KPRF) had demanded the investigation for Ilyukhin -- one of the KPRF's leading members -- who died suddenly on March 19 at the age of 62. Doctors said the cause of death was heart failure.

Ilyukhin was deputy chairman of the State Duma's Commission for Constitutional Legislation.

Iluykhin's fellow party members said he had no previous health problems and requested the investigation in order to rule out the possibility he may have been killed.

Ilyukhin, who was a lawyer, was first elected to the Duma in 1993. He was a strong critic of President Boris Yeltsin and authored the books "Leaders and Werewolves" (1993) and "To Rescue Russia" (1995).

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