Earlier this year, the company took the unusual public stance of speaking out against Russia’s war in Ukraine and calling for sympathy for the victims and an end to the conflict.
According to the Russian state news agency TASS, Lukoil chairman Ravil Maganov died this week after falling from the window of a hospital in Moscow.
Lukoil confirmed the death on Thursday in a statement published on its website.
Another top executive of Lukoil, Alexander Subbotin, was found dead near Moscow in May after allegedly visiting a shaman, TASS reported. Russia’s state news agency quoted an official as saying authorities had been called to an unconscious man suffering from heart failure. TASS reported that the police have opened a criminal investigation into the case.
Links with Gazprom
In the first of the deaths reported this year, a Gazprom top executive was found dead in his cottage in the village of Leninsky near Leningrad on Jan. 30, 2022, according to Russian state media outlet RIA Novosti.
RIA reported that a suicide note had been found at the scene and that investigators were investigating the death as suicide. Russian national broadcaster RenTv has identified the man as Leonid Shulman, head of transport at Gazprom Invest.
Just a month later, another Gazprom chief was found dead in the same village. Alexander Tyulakov was found dead in his garage on Feb. 25, according to Novaya Gazeta, an independent Russian newspaper. Novaya Gazeta reported that he died by suicide.
CNN’s calls to Gazprom have gone unanswered.
CNN has asked the Russian Commission of Inquiry for comment on the two cases, but has received no response.
Two other Russian businessmen with ties to Gazprom died in apparent murder-suicide incidents in April.
One of them, Vladislav Avayev, the former vice president of Gazprombank, was found dead on April 18 with his wife and daughter in his Moscow apartment, TASS said.
Citing a law enforcement source, TASS claimed that authorities were investigating the Avayevs’ deaths as a murder-suicide.
Yulia Ivanova, a representative of the Moscow Commission of Inquiry, was quoted by Tass as saying that a relative discovered the Avayevs’ bodies after the family’s driver and nanny told them they could not contact them by phone. or get into the apartment. since the door was locked from the inside.
Igor Volobuev, a former VP of Gazprombank who recently left Russia for Ukraine, told CNN he did not believe Avayev committed suicide.
“His job was to deal with private banking, which means dealing with VIP customers. He was in charge of very large sums of money. So, did he commit suicide? I don’t think so. I think he knew something and that he was kind of a risk,” Volobuev told CNN in April.
The Russian Commission of Inquiry has not responded to CNN’s request for comment on the matter.
Just a day later, on April 19, Sergey Protosenya, a former director of the gas producer Novatek, which is part-owned by Gazprom, was found dead at his home in Lloret de Mar, a Mediterranean resort near Barcelona.
The bodies of his wife and daughter, which showed signs of violence, were found in the family’s luxury home, an official source close to the investigation told CNN last week, while Protosenya’s body was found in the yard outside, according to the source.
Son questions initial findings
Catalan police in the province of Girona, where the city of Lloret de Mar is located, told CNN on Friday that they have completed their investigation into the case and have sent the findings to a court.
Police said the conclusion was that the deaths were a double homicide and subsequent suicide.
In April, Protosenya’s son spoke to the Daily Mail, questioning that version of events, suggesting instead that his father had been murdered.
“The Catalan police have taken statements from the son. Other hypotheses have been ruled out. A triple murder was also ruled out,” the police press officer told CNN at the time. “That this was the work of the Russian mafia? Well, no,” the official added.
Novatek, Protosenya’s former employer, said he was “a great person and a great family man.”
“Unfortunately, there are speculations on this subject in the media, but we are convinced that these speculations are not related to reality. We hope that the law enforcement authorities of Spain will conduct a thorough and objective investigation and find out what happened,” he said. the company in a statement.
Mikhail Watford, a Ukrainian-born Russian oil and gas billionaire, was found dead at his home in Surrey, England, on February 28.
Surrey police told CNN it did not believe there were any suspicious circumstances.
Another Russian businessman, Vasily Melnikov, was found dead along with his family in Nizhny Novgorod in late March, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported.
Melnikov owned MedStom, a medical supplies company. A 43-year-old man, his wife, 41, and two children, ages four and ten, were found dead on March 23, according to the Russian Commission of Inquiry.
The commission did not name Melnikov, but the ages of the dead and the location of the incident are consistent with the Kommersant report.
The Regional Branch of the Commission of Inquiry has not updated the status of its investigation and has not returned CNN’s request for comment. At the time of the incident, in March, it said there were “no signs of unauthorized access to the apartment”, and that “knives were found and seized”.
“[Investigators] consider different versions of what happened, including the murder of the children and the woman by the head of the family, followed by self-inflicted death,” the commission said.
How to get help: In the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide can also provide contact information for crisis centers around the world.
Uliana Pavlova, Anna Chernova, Frederik Pleitgen, Chris Liakos, Julia Horowitz, Zahid Mahmood and Al Goodman of CNN reported.