Deaths of Russian oligarchs
September 2, 2022 - At least eight Russian oligarchs have died in suspicious circumstances since late January, with several connected to Gazprom, the state energy monopoly, and Gazprombank.
Ravil Maganov, the chairman of Russia’s second-largest oil producer Lukoil, died on Thursday (September 1, 2022) after falling from a hospital window in Moscow. Russian state news agency TASS reported the 67-year-old had committed suicide, citing a police source.
Lukoil is among the few Russian companies to publicly call for an end to the Ukraine conflict. Seven other Russian businessmen, most with ties to the energy industry, have died suddenly in unclear circumstances in the past few months.
According to Russian state media RIA, Leonid Shulman, a top executive at Gazprom, was stabbed to death in his home in the ultra-wealthy Vyborgsky suburb of St Petersburg on January 30. 60-year-old Shulman was the head of transport at Gazprom Invest, a branch of the energy giant that handles its investment projects.
A month later, another top executive at Gazprom was found dead in the same suburb. Alexander Tyulakov was found dead in his garage on February 25. According to Novaya Gazeta, an independent Russian newspaper, Tyulakov died by suicide.
Mikhail Watford, a Ukrainian-born Russian billionaire, was found dead in his home in Surrey, England, on February 28. Surrey Police are not treating his death as suspicious.
Another billionaire, Vasily Melnikov, was found dead alongside his family in Nizhny Novgorod in late March, according to the Russian newspaper Kommersant. 43-year-old Melnikov was stabbed to death with his wife and two children on March 23.
In April, two more Russian businessmen died in apparent murder-suicide incidents. On April 18, Vladislav Avayev, former vice president at Gazprombank, was found dead in a Moscow apartment with the bodies of his wife and daughter. Investigators say the banker had shot his family before committing suicide.
A day later, Sergey Protosenya, a former executive at the gas producer Novatek, which Gazprom partially owns, was found dead with his wife and daughter at his home in Lloret de Mar, a Mediterranean resort near Barcelona.
Two weeks later, Vladimir Lyakishev, the co-founder of the Bratya Karavayevi restaurant chain, was found dead in a Moscow apartment on May 4. Lyakishev died from a gunshot wound to his head.
In July, Yuri Voronov, 61, head of a logistics company that held lucrative contracts with Gazprom, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head at his home in the Vyborgsky suburb of St Petersburg. Investigators attributed the death to a “dispute with business partners.”
- Top Russian oil official falls to death from hospital window (Reuters)
- Putin’s fingerprints all over deaths of these 7 oligarchs this year (New York Post)
- At least five Russian businessmen have died by apparent suicide in just three months (CNN)
- Mikhail Watford: Ukrainian oligarch's death investigated by Surrey Police (BBC)