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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Scientist Kills Self Over Funding Cuts

SNEZHINSK, Ural Mountains -- The director of a leading Russian nuclear weapons research center killed himself in despair over funding cuts that left his staff struggling for survival, news reports said Thursday.

Vladimir Nechai, 60 shot himself to death late Wednesday at his office in the Federal Nuclear Center at Snezhinsk, one of Russia's two major nuclear weapons research centers.

Nechai's body was found by colleagues Thursday morning, the reports said. He left a note saying his decision was prompted by the government's indifference to the defense complex's financial woes, NTV Independent Television said.

His deputy Vladislav Nikitin said Nechai was disheartened by the government's failure to give his center enough money to pay its employees.

The government had promised to catch up on five months of back wages this month, but the center got only a fraction of what was promised. NTV said many people in Snezhinsk believe this was the "last straw'' for Nechai.