Who was Igor Malinovsky? Bears EAT Russian biathlete and wealthy couple after helicopter crashes in the wilderness
Following a helicopter crash on a luxury tour in Russia's far northeast, brown bears attacked and devoured three passengers. Igor Malinovsky, a 25-year-old Russian biathlete who operated the helicopter, died in the Kamchatka tragedy on July 16, together with Zoya Kaigorodova and Sergey Kolesnyak. The following day, the three people's bones were discovered close to the Semyachkov Pass, 13 kilometers from the Uzon volcano. Their remains looked to have been discovered at the crash scene after a brown bear carried them away and ate them.
According to Channel Five news in Russia, the crash was reported by the Ministry of Emergency Situations. It happened during a nine-day tour of the area amid bad flying conditions. The Uzon caldera, located in the core of Kamchatka's volcanic zone, was the focus of their path on the day of the tragedy. Their Robinson chopper was scheduled to touch down in the neighboring village of Milkovo at 7 o'clock local time. However, the chopper's communication stopped, which led to a search.
Who was Igor Malinovsky?
Igor Malinovsky, 25, was a Russian biathlete who had become a helicopter pilot after retiring from his career as an athlete. He was a world junior Biathlon champion before his retirement. His father, Vladimir Malinovsky, was the owner of the helicopter he was flying at the time of the crash.
According to Daily Mail, Malinovsky's passing was also mourned by the Russian biathlon community. Yuri Kaminsky, head coach of the Russian men’s national biathlon team, told sports outlet Match TV, “We are all very sorry. He was still a part of our men’s team for quite a long time, showing great promise. It is a pity first of all for a person, and secondly for an athlete. As far as I know, he hesitated whether to leave biathlon or not, to concentrate only on flying or not. The guy [was] still young.”
“The IBU and the entire biathlon family mourns the loss of Igor Malinovskii, 5-time Junior World Champion and World Cup competitor. He will always be remembered as a great biathlete, we express our condolences to his family", IBU President O. Dahlin giving words to our sadness. https://t.co/TDQXonfkGF— IBU Junior Cup (@IBU_Junior) July 18, 2022
On the other hand, Kaigorodova was referred to as a ‘well-known local businesswoman in her 30s’ by Ukrainian media. According to reports, the nine-day tour cost a little over $5,000. The bad weather, which was reportedly marked by dark clouds and poor visibility, prevented search and rescue crews from getting to work right away. The burned-out chopper was discovered the following day when the weather cleared up. Whether the travelers were already dead when the bears discovered them at the accident scene is unknown. Brown bears typically do not attack people unless they are in some way threatened.
Two Russian tourists & a sports star were killed in a helicopter crash before being ‘dragged away & gnawed by brown bears’. World jr biathlon champion Igor Malinovsky, 25. Zoya Kaygorodova 30's, who had organised the £4,250 trip, and mobile ph. co. boss Sergey Kolesnyak, 39.😢 pic.twitter.com/jYaIdURMG3— Sumner (@renmusb1) July 21, 2022
Brown bears from Kamchatka are among the biggest ursids in the world and can weigh up to 700 kilos. Famous Japanese wildlife photographer Michio Hochino perished in a well-known event in 1996 after a bear dragged him from his camp in southern Kamchatka. An inquiry into the collision and the three fatalities has been opened by authorities. The probe was initially confirmed by Vladimir Solodov, the governor of the Kamchatka Territory, who said the group was traveling without proper tourist authorization. Solodov said via his Telegram channel the day after the crash, “The helicopter with two passengers and a pilot was on a private flight; the group was not registered as tourists. The competent authorities are conducting an investigation and will establish the reasons for the departure and the circumstances of the crash.”
Russian media also made a point of highlighting in its headline that the helicopter involved in the crash was produced in the United States, underscoring the ongoing hostilities between Russia and the West. The tragedy was also covered by Ukrainian media, which made the claim that because of the sanctions, the Russians were unable to vacation in Europe and instead chose to travel to a remote area of their own nation, where they perished.