Another high-ranking manager from the Russian energy sector is found dead. The Lukoil boss is said to have thrown himself out of a hospital window. A former manager of the company previously allegedly died during an occult treatment that went wrong.
The series of mysterious deaths of Russian oligarchs and managers from the energy sector continues. The latest case: The CEO of Russian oil giant Lukoil, Ravil Maganov, who died after falling out of a hospital window, according to media reports. The police have initiated investigations. It is unclear why the 67-year-old fell out of the window on the sixth floor of the clinic. According to the state news agency, the authorities are assuming a suicide.
The country's political and business elite are treated in the hospital in the center of the Russian capital. According to the report, Maganov had been brought in because of a heart attack. Depression was also diagnosed.
Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, several top Russian managers have died - including a former colleague of Maganov's. Former Lukoil CEO Alexander Subbotin died in May in a bizarre way, according to Russian media reports. He had visited a shaman couple after excessive alcohol consumption to get treatment. In the apartment near Moscow, the shamans cut his skin and dripped toad poison into the wounds, among other things. This is said to be followed by necromancy, animal sacrifices and a bath in rooster's blood, among other things. When Subbotin suddenly felt unwell, the shamans laid the billionaire in the basement, where they are said to have found him dead a little later.
The multi-millionaire Yuri Voronov is one of the dead from the energy sector. The 61-year-old was found dead in the pool at his mansion in a St. Petersburg suburb, with a gunshot wound to the head. A handgun was found nearby, they said. Several used casings would have been lying on the bottom of the pool. Russian investigators attribute Voronov's death to a "quarrel with business partners." According to media reports, his wife told them that her husband was convinced that "dishonorable" business partners had cheated him out of "a lot of money".
In January, former Gazprom manager Leonid Schulman was found dead in the bathroom of his home - in the same St. Petersburg suburb where Voronov lived. In February, Alexander Tyulyakov, deputy director general of Gazprom, was found hanged in his villa in the same area. Farewell letters were discovered on both of them.
In April, the former deputy head of Gazprom Bank Valdislav Avayev and Sergey Protosenya, the former manager of Novatek, Russia's largest private gas producer, died. Both are said to have killed their wife and children first and then themselves. Avayev's body and those of his wife and daughter were found in the family's Moscow apartment. Protosenja is said to have hanged himself in his villa in Spain just two days later, after he is also said to have killed his wife and daughter.
In May, Andrei Krukowski had an accident. He was the manager of the Russian ski resort Krasnaya Polyana, operated by Gazprom. According to investigators, the 37-year-old fell to his death while hiking off a cliff.
The frequency of incidents led to rumors that they were actually murders staged as accidents or suicide. For example, the long-serving deputy head of Gazprombank, Igor Volobuyev, denied the official version that Avayev's death was a suicide. "I don't think he was capable of killing his family," he told investigative media The Insider. In reality, he was murdered by others along with his wife and children. "Why? It's hard to say. Maybe he knew something. Maybe he was a threat," said Volobuyev. Shortly before, Volobuyev had fled to Ukraine, where he was born. He said he wanted to fight Russian troops there.
According to the Polish think tank Warsaw Institute, one possible explanation for the deaths is that people with connections in the Kremlin are trying to cover tracks that lead to fraud at Russian energy companies.
The British businessman Bill Browder has a different assumption: The sanctions imposed after the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine are a cause. With his company Hermitage Capital, Browder was at times the largest foreign investor in Russia and is now a self-confessed opponent of the Kremlin. His lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who uncovered suspected fraud by officials, died in 2009 after being mistreated in Russian custody.
"It seems like the pie has gotten smaller," says Browder. "Now there's a bunch of people fighting over dwindled amounts of money. And whenever there's both limited resources and very powerful people, people start dying."