Russian lawmaker drowns in the Dead Sea — reports

A 68-year-old man who drowned in the Dead Sea earlier this week has been identified as Russian lawmaker Vasily Tarasyuk, according to Russia’s Pravda news agency.

Tarasyuk, a member of the far-right Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, was said to be vacationing in Israel.

The details of his death were not immediately clear, but Russian media reports indicated he drowned on Saturday and attempts by a lifeguard to revive him were unsuccessful.

State Duma deputy Nikolai Nikolaev told Russian media the millionaire lawmaker had been very ill for some time.

Tarasyuk served as deputy chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on Natural Resources and Utilization. Before becoming a parliamentarian Tarasyuk was the general director of the Afipsky Oil Processing Factory.

Colleagues described him as “a very generous, sympathetic and kindhearted man,” according to Pravda.

His body was being returned to Russia for burial, the report said.

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