Support The Moscow Times!

Pensioner Who Set Herself on Fire Dies From Injuries

The burned-out United Russia office where 50-year-old Valentina Gerasimova set herself on fire.

A 50-year-old pensioner who set herself on fire in a United Russia office in Novosibirsk has died from injuries sustained during the blaze.

Valentina Gerasimova, apparently aggrieved over advice she received from party officials regarding a housing dispute, passed away Saturday evening in a Novosibirsk hospital after falling into a coma, Siberian news portal reported, citing a neighbor.

Gerasimova had suffered burns over 90 percent of her body after pouring fuel over herself and igniting it with a cigarette lighter in one of the ruling party's Novosibirsk branches Wednesday.

United Russia employee Oleg Puchkov, 42, received burns on 13 percent of his body while trying to extinguish the flames. It was not clear Sunday how Puchkov's recovery was progressing.

Investigators have opened a criminal case with potential charges of driving Gerasimova to commit suicide, which carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison. No suspects have been named.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.