Conspiracy theories about the mysterious death of Saak Albertovich Karapetyan, the Russian prosecutor responsible for investigations into the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal (along with the deaths abroad of other traitorous Russians, including 2006 death by poisoning of FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko) have abounded in the days since the deadly helicopter crash that killed Karapetyan and a handful of others during a hunting trip in the Kostroma region northeast of Moscow. One report from a local investigative journalist that was picked up by the Daily Mail claimed that body of the pilot who flew Karapetyan was found with two bullet holes, suggesting that the crash wasn't an accident, but rather a cover-up for an assassination of a man with close ties to Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya - the Russian lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort in June 2016 for a controversial meeting at Trump Tower that was set up under the pretense that Veselnitskaya would provide "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.
According to the Daily Mail, Karapetyan's reportedly "overloaded" helicopter didn't crash, rather it was shot down by assassins in a shooting that was later covered up by investigators.
The official version is that the 'overloaded' helicopter crashed after clipping trees in Kostroma region, killing Karapetyan, his nephew Areg Arutyunyan, 47, pilot Stanislav Mikhnov, and another passenger Viktor Kopteev, 54.
But respected Moscow journalist Sergei Dorenko has bluntly accused the investigating authorities of a cover-up in seeking hide two bullet wounds to highly experienced 54-year-old pilot - and gun shot damage to the copter's blade.
But why would the Russian government want to kill one of its deputy attorney generals? Why, because he was leaking information from the investigations that he was reportedly leaking - including the Skripal case - to intelligence agencies in the US, UK and Switzerland. Meanwhile, critics have argued that Karapetyan's criminal probes into the Skripal, Litvinenko and Boris Berezovsky cases were intended to mask Moscow's involvement.
Russia has denied these allegations, with the investigative committee, which is responsible for probing allegations of serious crimes in Russia, denying that Karapetyan's death was anything but an accident. But the journalist behind the assassination claims said that Karapetyan's helicopter never took off from the remote area where he had traveled for the hunting trip. Instead, gunmen opened fire on the group then intentionally crashed the helicopter to make it look like an accident.
Dorenko retorted: 'We have the official version that the pilot mistakenly touched the trees and the helicopter fell to the ground.
'But in fact I suppose that the pilot was good and did not touch any trees.
'He did not take off at all.
'He was shot with two bullets in the back before this.'
This leaves the possibility that someone else was at the controls when the helicopter took off and crashed - or that it was destroyed on the ground, killing all on board.
Dorenko said: 'The IC decided that there were no gunshots…
'So two 5.45 caliber bullets one of which broke through the pilot's blade are not to be considered. Why?'
He insisted: 'There are two 5.45 bullets in the pilot…. the blade is also pierced.'
Witnesses who interacted with Karapetyan shortly before his death said the helicopter landed in a remote area because of bad weather, and that they heard the sound of cracking tree limbs after the helicopter crashed after trying to take off.
Reports say Karapetyan and his nephew Arutyunyan, 47, a senior customs official, were using the helicopter for a hunting trip.
The pilot landed near village Vonyshevo due to atrocious weather and the pair ordered a car to come and collect them.
Then they randomly met a villager Kopteev, who offered to show them the route to take a short flight to meet the car.
This is when the accident allegedly happened.
Kopteev's relative heard the cracking of branches and the sound of the impact.
So, was Karapetyan assassinated to stop him from leaking important government secrets, possibly related to the Kremlin's involvement in the Skripal attacks or maybe the ongoing probe of collusion between Moscow and the Trump Administration? Was this a freak accident, or another killing ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin?
One respected 'Kremlin insider', the blogger Nezygar, suggested that Karapetyan's death will "resolve a number of very painful issues" for the Russian government. We now wait to see whether Democrats in the US will latch on to these allegations to revive the Russian witch hunt narrative at a time when Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe is reportedly winding down.