Vladimir Putin’s ally-turned-foe has died at the age of 72 after reportedly suffering from “severe illness”. Viktor Cherkesov was a former presidential envoy to the Northwestern Federal District. He started as a KGB officer in St. Petersburg in the 1970s, persecuting dissidents and investigating anti-Soviet activities. Relations between the two soured in 2006, when Cherkesov accused Putin of making the secret services corrupt. Cherkesov was fired from his role in the wake of his criticism of the secret services under Putin. Cherkesov later became an MP, but was never again seen as a part of Putin’s inner circle. Cherkesov is the latest in a long line of former Putin allies who have died under mysterious circumstances since the start of the war.