A series of Russian businessmen die mysteriously


President Putin with Lukoil CEO Ravel Maganov in 2019. On September 1, Maganov fell from a hospital window in Moscow.Photo by AFP

Ivan Pechorin’s body was washed ashore earlier this week near Vladivostok, on the Sea of ​​Japan. According to the official statement, he fell from his boat on Saturday near Russky Island, which is connected to Vladivostok by the world’s longest suspension bridge.

The reason is not clear. The Russian newspaper noted that Vladivostok can experience strong storms at this time of year, but the water was now calm on a sunny Saturday. Komsomolskaya Pravda me. The newspaper spoke of a “tragic death”. And KRDV already suffered a tragic death in February: executive director Igor Nosov died after a stroke.

Last week, Ivan Pechurin shared the podium with Vladimir Putin at an economic forum in Vladivostok. There is the Russian president His ambitions diverge An alliance between authoritarian regimes and Asian countries. The natural resources of northern and eastern Russia, mined by the KRDV, are important for the formation of these alliances; Putin, for example, would like to see the construction of a gas pipeline to China. As director of KRDV’s aviation department, Peshorin was tasked with making the area more accessible by plane.

Russian energy giants

In itself, the death of a Russian businessman, albeit in an unusual way, may mean little. But this very amount raises questions. Twelve similar people died in a relatively short time with comparable inexplicable facts.


At the end of January, Leonid Shulman was found dead in a rural shelter in the Leningrad Region. Next to Shuleman’s body was an obituary. He was a senior manager at Gazprom. A month later – the day after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – police found another Gazprom driver dead with a death note: Alexander Tyulakov.

In March and April, Russian businessmen and their families were found murdered. Vasily Melnikov from the medical company MedStom died with his wife and two sons in Nizhny Novgorod. In April, the Moscow police found Vladislav Avaev with his wife and daughter. The former driver of Gazprombank was holding a gun in his hands. Serge Protosinga also died with his family in Lloret de Mar. Protusinga was a manager at the gas company Novatek.

Alexander Sobotin died in perhaps the strangest way at the beginning of May. The director of the oil company Lukoil underwent a magical ritual in a basement in Moscow, which was supposed to help him get rid of a hangover, reports the Russian state news agency TASS. The shaman made an incision in the skin and would release the frog’s poison into it. Then Sobotin had a heart attack.

through the window

The list then goes on with accidental or non-accidental falls. In early May, Andrei Krukovsky, director of a ski resort owned by Gazprom, fell off a cliff. Then Rapoport, an American investor of Latvian descent, lay dead on the sidewalk next to his apartment complex in Washington. He made a lot of money in Moscow until he clashed with the Russian authorities and became an outspoken opponent of Putin. Supporters question reports that Rapoport committed suicide.

Ravel Maganov, CEO of Lukoil, was treated in a Moscow hospital for depression and heart problems. He died on September 1 when he fell from a sixth-floor window. Lukoil was one of the few companies to call for an end to the “armed conflict” in Ukraine in March.

The victims were mostly high-ranking officials in the gas and oil industry, and the causes of their deaths were similar. But that’s pretty much the end of what can be said for sure.

It is known that the Russian regime does not hesitate to liquidate its opponents. Take, for example, the murders of Alexander Litvinenko and Boris Nemtsov and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. Russia is likely to be at the top when it comes to people who criticize the head of state or other politicians falling out of windows; The

From doctors, bloggers, politicians and renegade embassy staff who did not leave the buildings through the ground floor exit, it is important.

But the slain businessmen, with the exception of a few like Rapoport, were not known for their criticism of Putin. It is not yet known at this time whether the reversal of Putin’s favor will lead to a fatal crash.


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