The 47-year-old editor of Koza Press online news died after setting herself on fire outside the police headquarters in Nijni-Novgorod. Her death came a day after the police had searched her apartment. In a note she published on Facebook prior to her act, Irina said:” Blame the Russian Federation for my death.”
Media reports quoted her as saying that the search of her apartment was linked to the police investigation into Open Russia, an organisation founded by the Russian exiled oligarch Mikhaïl Khodorkovski. She had also been questioned in connection with another criminal probe of a local businessman, Mikhaïl Losilevitch, also linked to Open Russia. The authorities dismissed any link between her death and the search at her apartment, claiming that she was only a witness and not a suspect or accused in any criminal activity.
However, Irina had faced numerous charged, ranging from taking part in a march in memory of opposition politician Boris Nemtov, contempt of the public following her Facebook about the unveiling of a Stalin memorial in Shakhunya, her participation at the Free People Forum as well as allegations of publishing fake news on Covid crisis in Russia.