Russian Oligarchs Continue Piling up–Now, 8 since January

Russian Oligarchs Continue Piling up–Now, 8 since January


It’s dangerous to be an Russian oil executive these days, since eight people have been killed in suspicious circumstances since January. Six were connected to Gazprom the state-owned oil giant, and the two others were associated with Lukoil the nation’s second largest oil company.

The most recent oligarch who died prematurely was Ravil Maganov. He is the former chair of Lukoil’s board of directors. Maganov fell six stories from a Moscow hospital window on September 1. He had criticised Russia’s March invasion of Ukraine. Hmm.

This morning Ravil Maganov (head of Lukoil board) fell from a window on the 6th floor at Moscow Central hospital. He later died.

This is at most the 6th suicide of top Russian managers in recent years.

Do you believe these to be accidents?

— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) September 1, 2022

Lukoil tried initially to claim his death was due to “severe sickness.” But, Russian state media intervened to clarify the story .

Baza, a Russian news site with close ties to the police, suggested he may have slipped from a balcony while smoking and that no CCTV was available because cameras had been turned off for repairs.

Another thing is that the state-run media agency Tass reported on Thursday that Maganov took his own life. It cited a source from Russia’s security service who called Maganov’s death “suicide”. The Guardian could not verify this version of events immediately.

It seems like we might never find out what happened. It was so convenient that security cameras were turned off.

What is the hell going on in the ex-Soviet Union? John Lough is an associate fellow of London’s Chatham House think-tank and an expert on Russian affairs.

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It is reminiscent of the banditry of the 1990s in Russia during the first phase of privatization after the collapse of the USSR…

This suggests that there are serious infighting in the sector related to financial flow access.

It seems that Vladimir Putin has been systematically making his enemies offed. But maybe this is just a coincidence. Interestingly, Maganov’s death occurred on the same day that Vlad visited the hospital to pay his respects to Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, who died on August 30 after a long illness. Although it doesn’t prove anything, I find this fascinating.

My colleague, streiff, wrote in March about other mysterious deaths:

Sergey Protosenya

The body of Sergey Protosenya, former top manager of Russia’s energy giant Novatek, was found together with those of his wife and daughter on Tuesday in a rented villa in Spain… The 55-year-old millionaire was found hanged in the garden of the villa in Lloret de Mar by Catalonian police, Spanish media reported, while his wife and daughter were found in their beds with stab wounds on their bodies.

Vladislav Avaev

Just a day before the body of Protosenya was found in Spain, on April 18, former vice-president of Gazprombank Vladislav Avaev was found dead… in his multi-million apartment on Universitetsky Prospekt in Moscow, together with his wife and daughter…The apartment was locked from the inside and a pistol was found in Avaev’s hands, leading investigators to explore the theory that Avaev shot his wife and his 13-year-old daughter before killing himself.

Vasily Melnikov

On March 24, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported the death of billionaire Vasily Melnikov in his luxury apartment in Nizhny Novgorod, the sixth-largest city in the country… Kommersant reported that investigators concluded that Melnikov killed his 41-year-old wife and 10-year-old and 4-year-old children before killing himself…

Mikhail Watford

Ukrainian-born Russian tycoon Mikhail Watford was found dead in his home in Surrey in the U.K. on February 28… Watford, 66, was found hanged in the garage of his home by a gardener…

Alexander Tyulyakov

On February 25, Gazprom’s Deputy General Director of the Unified Settlement Center (UCC) for Corporate Security, Alexander Tyulyakov, was found dead in a cottage near St. Petersburg, as reported by the Russian newspaper Gazeta.

Tyulyakov was reported to have been found dead in his apartment’s garage. Investigators were led to suspect that the deceased oligarch was suicide after finding a note near his corpse.

Leonid Shulman

At that time [In January], 60-year-old Gazprom’s top manager Leonid Shulman was found dead in the bathroom of a cottage in the Leningrad region, next to a note that led police to believe he died by suicide, according to Gazeta and Russian media group RBC.

Recently, streiff published an article. We can now add Maganov to the list, as well as Alexander Subbotin (former top manager at Lukoil), who reportedly fell into “intoxication from severe alcohol and drugs” just before his May death.

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Financier Bill Browder, who has a large portfolio in Russia, told Newsweek after Subbotin’s death that you should assume the worst:

…any time you see a wealthy Russian dying in suspicious circumstances.

There is enough evidence to suggest that assassinations were carried out by Russia’s Kremlin and business rivals. This makes it probable that they were murders, and not suicides.

If that’s not enough to convince you that dark things are going on under Putin, on August 29 a car bomb killed the daughter of ultra-nationalist political theorist and Putin ally Aleksandr Dugin. There are many theories about whether it was the Ukrainians, Putin’s enemies or Vlad who ordered it to justify further attacks on Ukraine. We don’t know what the Russians are claiming as the victim of this assassination.

Natalya Vovk, whom Russia considers as the main suspect in murder of Daria Dugina has been reportedly killed in a hotel with 17 stab wounds.
Daria Dugina was the daughter of Aleksandr Dugin, adviser of Vladimir Putin.

— G219_Lost (@in20im) August 28, 2022

A week earlier in Washington, D.C. a Putin and Ukraine war critic who lived in the U.S. named Dan Rapoport jumped from a high-rise to his death. As the NY Post writes, “Both deaths sound like something out of a Tom Clancy novel. The world of Russian spying is more absurd than fiction .”

All I know right now is that I don’t wish to be an oil oligarch from Russia or a Putin critic.

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