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‘What he’s accused of simply can’t be true’ Prominent graphic designer Grigory Kochenov fell to his death from his balcony in Nizhny Novgorod during a police search
Grigory Kochenov, the 41-year-old creative director of Agima, a large Russian IT company, fell to his death from his balcony in Nizhny Novgorod while police officers were supposedly conducting a search of his apartment. Local Telegram channels NiMash and 112 have suggested that the search took place in connection with a “pedophilia” investigation, but no formal charges against Kochenov could be confirmed. According to NiMash, Kochenov opened the door, signed the search warrant, and let the police into his apartment. Then he allegedly went to the balcony and fell out.
Kochenov’s body was discovered by his neighbors on December 7, near the apartment building on Volodarsky Street in Nizhny Novgorod. The local news outlet NiMash has suggested that 20TB of child pornography had been discovered in Kochenov’s apartment during the search. This information, however, remains unverified.
Nizhny Novgorod’s Investigative Committee branch has refused to comment on this suspicious death. “There’s no information for the media,” said the spokesperson Yulia Sklyarova, adding that it would be useless to query the office in the future, since the answer would still be the same. The police, in turn, also refuse to comment, directing the press to the Investigative Committee.
Grigory Kochenov worked as the creative director of Agima, an IT company specializing in software development, analytics, and design. Agima positions itself as “the largest integrator of digital solutions,” and works regularly with AliExpress, Leroy Merlin, Gazfond, VTB Capital, and other large corporate clients.
Agima has confirmed Kochenov’s death, noting the abundance of false “tabloid-like” allegations circulating about him in the local media. Agima’s founder Alexander Bogdanov is certain that the “pedophilia” and “child porn” rumors about Kochenov are “complete garbage”:
We think these flashy allegations are completely unfounded. Following our colleague’s death, the press used words like “pedophilia” and “child porn.” This is complete garbage. We all knew Grigory as a super-correct, super-exemplary person. In the 15 years of working with him, I got to know him as a workaholic who could work for days on end. He was very well-known on the digital market and among designers. What he’s accused of simply can’t be true.
The Investigative Committee would not talk to Agima’s legal team about the charges against Kochenov and whether a search had really taken place at his apartment.
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Kochenov’s friends also do not believe the allegations spread by local media. UI designer Artem Pchelyakov, who worked at Agima in the past, thinks that the allegations are “insane.” Kristina Lyaptseva, Agima’s communications director, says that Kochenov was a “kind, honest, and open” person. “They took you away, but we all know the truth,” she said, addressing the deceased.
According to the UX designer Ignat Goldman, Kochenov was publicly opposed to Russia’s war against Ukraine. Goldman also thinks that Kochenov’s death is “typical” of an FSB extortion campaign gone wrong.
In addition to working at Agima, Grigory Kochenov taught graphic design courses, illustration, adaptive web design, and creative talent management. As a freelance designer, he worked with Cambridge University Press, Hart Publishing, Snob, and the video-game website Igromania. He was a pioneer of adaptive design in Russia and often spoke at Russian and international conferences.
Kochenov was divorced. His three children live with his ex-wife.
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