Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

German Plunges to His Death

A German businessman fell to his death from the 10th floor of his apartment building Tuesday in central Moscow in what authorities said was likely a suicide.

Ralf Luddemann, general director of Burda Betreuung, a subsidiary of Burda Publishers, fell from the window of his apartment on Ulitsa Palikha, near the Mendeleyevskaya metro station, early Tuesday morning, law-enforcement sources told Interfax.

Luddemann was 51 or 52. Interfax only gave only his year of birth, 1955.

Burda confirmed the death but offered no details. One of Russia's largest publishing houses, Burda was founded by German media giant Huburt Burda Media in 1995. It publishes an array of weekly and monthly titles, including Playboy, Oops and Liza, and has a yearly circulation of 350 million. Luddemann had been the general director of Burda Betreuung, a company that services Burda companies, since April 2004, the Burda statement said.

Police and prosecutors were unavailable for comment Tuesday. But Interfax, citing Tverskoi District Prosecutor Pyotr Titov, reported that preliminary evidence suggested Luddemann's death was a suicide. Luddemann died at around 5:30 a.m., Titov said.

There was a stool in Luddemann's apartment that had been placed next to the windowsill, a law enforcement source told

Other reports speculated that the death could have been an accident.

The German Embassy said it could not comment on the death.

In July, Ambika Sharma, a 25-year-old Indian citizen, died after falling from her 10th-floor apartment in a diplomatic building on Simferopolsky Bulvar, near the Nakhimovsky Prospekt metro station in southern Moscow.

Moscow police concluded that the fall was an accident, but Indian police arrested Sharma's husband, a Moscow-based tea merchant, and father-in-law when they returned to India with her body in August. Her father had filed a complaint that she was tortured for dowry and killed, Indian police said. Her husband denied the charges.