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A number of distinguished Russian businessmen have died by obvious suicide in simply three months


Earlier this yr, the corporate took the bizarre public stance of talking out towards Russia’s warfare in Ukraine, calling for sympathy for the victims, and for the top of the battle.

Lukoil’s chairman Ravil Maganov died this week after falling out of the window of a hospital in Moscow, in line with Russian state information company TASS.

Lukoil confirmed the loss of life on Thursday in a press release revealed on its web site.

Maganov “handed away following a extreme sickness,” Lukoil mentioned, making no point out of a fall. “Maganov immensely contributed to the event of not solely the corporate, however of the whole Russian oil and fuel sector.”

One other prime Lukoil supervisor, Alexander Subbotin, was discovered lifeless close to Moscow in Might after reportedly visiting a shaman, TASS reported. Russia’s State Information Company quoted an official as saying authorities had been referred to as to an unconscious man affected by a coronary heart failure. TASS reported the police opened a legal investigation into the case.

Hyperlinks with Gazprom

Within the first of the deaths reported this yr, a prime govt at Gazprom was discovered lifeless in his cottage within the village of Leninsky close to Leningrad on January 30, 2022, in line with Russian state media outlet RIA Novosti.

RIA reported {that a} suicide word was discovered on the scene and that the investigators had been investigating the loss of life as a suicide. Russian nationwide broadcaster RenTv has recognized the person as Leonid Shulman, the top of transport at Gazprom Make investments.

Top manager of Gazprom Leonid Shulman
Alexander Tyulyakov, a top manager in Gazprom.

Only a month after that, one other prime govt at Gazprom was discovered lifeless in the identical village. Alexander Tyulakov was found lifeless in his storage on February 25, in line with Novaya Gazeta, an unbiased Russian newspaper. Novaya Gazeta reported he died by suicide.

CNN’s calls to Gazprom haven’t been returned.

CNN has requested Russia’s Investigative Committee for touch upon the 2 instances however has not acquired a response.

Two extra Russian businessmen with hyperlinks to Gazprom died in obvious murder-suicide incidents in April.

Former Gazprombank vice-president Vladislav Avayev.

One in every of them, Vladislav Avayev, the previous vice-president of Gazprombank, was discovered lifeless together with his spouse and daughter in his Moscow condominium on April 18, in line with TASS.

Citing a supply in legislation enforcement, TASS claimed authorities had been investigating the Avayevs’ deaths as a murder-suicide.

Yulia Ivanova, a consultant of the Investigative Committee for Moscow, was quoted by Tass as saying {that a} relative found the Avayevs’ our bodies after being informed by the household driver and the nanny that they may not contact them on the telephone or get into the condominium, for the reason that door was closed from the within.

Igor Volobuev, a former VP of Gazprombank who not too long ago left Russia for Ukraine, informed CNN that he didn’t imagine Avayev killed himself.

“His job was to take care of non-public banking, meaning coping with VIP shoppers. He was answerable for very massive quantities of cash. So, did he kill himself? I do not assume so. I believe he knew one thing and that he posed some form of threat,” Volobuev informed CNN in April.

Russia’s Investigative Committee didn’t reply to CNN’s request for touch upon this case.

Only a day later, on April 19, Sergey Protosenya, a former govt on the fuel producer Novatek, which is partially owned by Gazprom, was discovered lifeless at his house in Lloret de Mar, a Mediterranean resort close to Barcelona.

The our bodies of his spouse and daughter, displaying indicators of getting suffered violence, had been discovered contained in the household’s luxurious house, an official supply near the investigation informed CNN final week, whereas the physique of Protosenya was discovered within the backyard exterior, in line with the supply.

Son questions preliminary findings

Catalan police within the province of Girona, the place the city of Lloret de Mar is situated, informed CNN on Friday that they’ve since accomplished their investigation into the case and despatched the findings to a court docket.

The police power mentioned its conclusion was that the deaths had been a double homicide and subsequent suicide.

Talking to the Day by day Mail in April, Protosenya’s son questioned that model of occasions, suggesting as a substitute that his father was murdered.

“The Catalan police have taken statements from the son. Different hypotheses have been dominated out. Additionally dominated out was a triple murder,” the police’s press official informed CNN at the moment. “That this was the work of the Russian mafia? Properly, no,” the official added.

Russian gas tycoon Sergei Protosenya and his wife Natalya.

Novatek, Protosenya’s former employer, mentioned he was “a beautiful particular person and a beautiful household man.”

“Sadly, there have been speculations on this subject within the media, however we’re satisfied that these speculations will not be associated to actuality. We hope that the legislation enforcement companies of Spain will conduct a radical and goal investigation and kind out what occurred, ” the corporate mentioned in a press release.

Coroner’s ruling

Mikhail Watford, a Ukrainian-born Russian oil and fuel billionaire, was discovered lifeless in his house in Surrey, England on February 28.

Surrey Police informed CNN it didn’t imagine there have been any suspicious circumstances.

One other Russian businessman, Vasily Melnikov, was discovered lifeless alongside his household in Nizhny Novgorod in late March, in line with the Russian newspaper Kommersant.

Melnikov owned MedStom, a medical provides firm. In line with Russia’s Investigative Committee, a 43-year-old man, his spouse, 41, and two kids aged 4 and 10 had been discovered stabbed to loss of life on March 23.

The committee didn’t identify Melnikov, however the ages of the lifeless and the situation of the incident match the Kommersant report.

The regional department of the investigative committee has not up to date the standing of its investigation and didn’t return CNN’s request for remark. On the time of the incident, in March, it mentioned there “had been no indicators of unauthorized entry into the condominium,” and that “knives had been discovered and seized.”

“[Investigators] are contemplating a number of variations of what occurred, together with the homicide of the youngsters and spouse by the top of the household, adopted by self-inflicted loss of life,” the committee mentioned.

The best way to get assist: In the US, name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The Worldwide Affiliation for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide can also present contact info for disaster facilities all over the world.

CNN’s Uliana Pavlova, Anna Chernova, Frederik Pleitgen, Chris Liakos, Julia Horowitz, Zahid Mahmood and Al Goodman contributed reporting.



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