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Russian oil exec falls from hospital window — another mysterious death

Ravil Maganov, and half a dozen other high-ranking businessmen with ties to Russian energy have been found dead, all ruled suicide

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to winners of a student competitions in Kaliningrad, Russia, on Sept. 1, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to winners of cultural, scientific and sports student competitions at the Museum and Theatre Educational Complex in Kaliningrad, Russia, on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. Ravil Maganov, chairman of Russian oil producer Lukoil, died Thursday under suspicious circumstances

Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo, Associated Press

Ravil Maganov, chairman of Russian oil producer Lukoil, died Thursday under suspicious circumstances. Two sources told Reuters that he had fallen from a hospital window, though what led to his fall is unclear. The death of the 67-year-old is the latest in a string of high-profile Russian businessmen who have died suddenly.

Russian news network Channel 1 reported that the Central Clinical Hospital in the west of Moscow confirmed Maganov fell from the window and that investigators are working to determine the cause.

Later, according to government-owned news outlet Tass, law enforcement reported Maganov’s death was a suicide and said “he was hospitalized with a heart attack. In addition, he took antidepressants.” These claims could not be verified.

Three sources close to Maganov told Reuters they do not believe he would have killed himself. Lukoil released a statement saying he “passed away following a severe illness,” and that he “immensely contributed to the development of not only the company, but of the entire Russian oil and gas sector.”

Lukoil is Russia’s biggest private company. Maganov started working for Lukoil in 1993 and took over as chairman two years ago. Per BBC, three years ago he was given a lifetime achievement award by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The company “broke ranks with President Vladimir Putin,” calling for the end to the Ukraine conflict while facing threats of boycotts in the U.S., where it owns 230 gas stations, mostly on the East Coast, per CNN.

According to Reuters, “at least six other Russian businessmen, most with ties to the energy industry, have died suddenly in unclear circumstances in the past few months.”

The incident occurred in the same hospital and on the same day Putin visited “in order to pay his respects to Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union,” per The Guardian.

Who were the other businessmen?

Leonid Shulman, 60, a top manager of the Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom, was found dead in the bathtub of his cottage with a suicide note nearby, per RIA.

Aleksandr Subbotin, a former Lukoil executive, was found in the basement of a house in Mytishchi, with drugs in his blood in “a room used for Jamaican voodoo rituals,” reports state-owned TASS.

Alexander Tyulakov, a deputy general director of the treasury for Gazprom, was found dead in the garage of his home, in the same village where Leonid Shulman was found. Most of the police and press were escorted from the site by Gazprom’s security service, and described his death as a suicide by hanging, according to the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. “On the eve of Tyulakov’s death, he was seen badly beaten. Under what circumstances a Gazprom top manager could have been beaten remains a mystery.”

Vladislav Avayev, a former deputy president of Gazprombank, was found dead in an apartment southwest of Moscow, along with his wife and daughter. Kommersant reports that Avayev had fatally shot the two before taking his own life, leaving no note. Andrei Strizhov, the head of the Main Investigative Committee, said “it was concluded that there were no strangers in the apartment, its door was closed from the inside.”

Sergei Protosenya, a former executive of Russia’s largest liquefied natural gas producer Novatek, was found dead with his wife and daughter at a villa in Spain, per Telecinco. A day after Avayey and his family was found in Moscow, Protosenya appears to have stabbed the two women in bed before killing himself. Novatek released a statement, doubting the veracity of this assumption, saying, “we are convinced that these speculations bear no relation to reality.”

Yury Voronov, the founder of Astra-Shipping, which works under contract for Gazprom, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head in a swimming pool of his house in the Leningrad region, per RBC. CCTV footage reviews by the police showed no one had entered or left the house in the days leading up to the event, per 47news.ru. His wife reported that he began abusing alcohol about two weeks before.

The list was compiled through Reuters reporting.