Close

Russian oligarchs were found dead this week alongside their family in luxurious homes in Russia and Spain, with the two cases discovered within 24 hours of each other…

Both deaths are believed by police to be cases of murder-suicide, but the evidence supporting these theories is muddled by the fact that the events happened so close together, with the two oligarchs the last of several who have been found to have died by suicide since the beginning of the year.

Here’s a list of all the Russian oligarchs who have been found dead in mysterious circumstance since January 2022.

Alexandre Subbotin

May 13th 2022

After the suspicious deaths of several billionaire families since the invasion of Ukraine began, The Independent reveals the death of Alexander Subbotin, a former top executive of Russia’s largest oil company Lukoil.
“The death toll among Russian oligarchs continues. After the suspicious deaths of several billionaire families since the beginning of the invasion in Ukraine, The Independent reveals the death of Alexander Subbotin, a former top executive of Russia’s largest oil company Lukoil.
Once again, the circumstances are highly mysterious. The 43-year-old man was allegedly poisoned by toad venom during a shamanism session on the outskirts of Moscow. He had asked a shaman, whom he had known for several years, to treat him after a party where alcohol and drugs had been heavily consumed. Jamaican voodoo rituals.

According to the Russian news agency, the police have opened an investigation into the suspicious death of the former Lukoil managing director.
A forensic examination, which should establish both the cause of death and his condition before his death, is to be carried out, according to information from TASS.
Mysterious wave of suicides among Russian oligarchs.
Since January and the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, several Russian oligarchs have been found dead in mysterious circumstances. According to a list published by Newsweek, at least six Russian businessmen, specialising in the energy sector, have been found dead. A list that continues to grow. As the Polish think tank The Warsaw Institute points out, the number of these suicides seems somewhat suspicious.

Alexandre Subbotin
According to The Independent, his healer made an incision in Alexander Subbotin's body to inject drops of the venom. But moments later, the oligarch was overcome by vomiting and chest pains. He was finally found dead in the shaman's cellar, in a room used for Jamaican voodoo rituals, according to TASS.

Sergey Protosenya

April 19th 2022

On April 19th 2022, the body of Sergey Protosenya, former top manager of Russia’s energy giant Novatek, was found together with those of his wife and daughter on Tuesday in a rented villa in Spain, where the family was reportedly on holiday for Easter.

The 55-year-old millionaire was found hanged in the garden of the villa in Lloret de Mar by Catalonian police, Spanish media reported, while his wife and daughter were found in their beds with stab wounds on their bodies.

According to local media outlets Telecinco and El Punt Avui, an axe and a knife were found next to the body of Protosenya.

The 55-year-old millionaire was found hanged in the garden of the villa in Lloret de Mar by Catalonian police, Spanish media reported, while his wife and daughter were found in their beds with stab wounds on their bodies.

Police are investigating two possible scenarios, say Telecinco: either the Russian oligarch killed his wife and daughter and then hanged himself, or that the entire family was murdered and the crime scene was later stage to appear like a murder-suicide.

Protosenya’s death was confirmed by Russian state media TASS on Thursday.

The Protosenya family mainly lived in France. Novatek is the second largest company in Russia involved in the production of natural gas.

sergey protosenya
A photo of Sergey Protosenya, a Russian oligarch that was found dead in his Spain apartment in what police believe to be a murder-suicide incident.

Vladislav Avaev

April 18th 2022

Just a day before the body of Protosenya was found in Spain, on April 18th 2022, former vice-president of Gazprombank Vladislav Avaev was found dead in his multi-million apartment on Universitetsky Prospekt in Moscow, together with his wife and daughter.

The bodies were reportedly discovered by a relative of the Avaevs after being unable to get in contact with the family for several days.

The apartment was locked from the inside and a pistol was found in Avaev’s hands, leading investigators to explore the theory that Avaev shot his wife and his 13-year-old daughter before killing himself.

Privately-owned Gazprombank is the third-largest bank by assets in Russia.

Vladislav Avaev
In #Moscow, former vice-president of "Gazprombank" Vladislav Avaev shot dead his wife and 13-year-old daughter, after which he committed suicide. Previously, Avaev worked in the Office of the President and in the State Duma.

Vasily Melnikov

March 24th 2022

On March 24th 2022, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported the death of billionaire Vasily Melnikov in his luxury apartment in Nizhny Novgorod, the sixth-largest city in the country.

According to police investigations mentioned by Kommersant, Melnikov—who reportedly worked for the medical firm MedStom—was found dead in the apartment together with his wife Galina and two sons. They had all died from stab wounds and the knives used for the murders were found at the crime scene.

Kommersant reported that investigators concluded that Melnikov killed his 41-year-old wife and 10-year-old and 4-year-old children before killing himself, but neighbors and relatives struggle to believe this theory. According to the Ukrainian media outlet Glavred, Melnikov’s company was suffering huge losses because of Western sanctions.

Another theory, says Glavred, is a possible confrontation with a former business partner. But according to sources cited by Kommersant, police found no traces of any external interference or struggle in the Melnikovs’ apartment.

The children were found in the children’s room and Melnikov’s wife in the bedroom. Melnikov was found in the bathroom with a cut artery.

Vasily Melnikov
On March 24, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported the death of billionaire Vasily Melnikov in his luxury apartment in Nizhny Novgorod, the sixth-largest city in the country.
Russia

Mikhail Watford

February 28th 2022

Ukrainian-born Russian tycoon Mikhail Watford was found dead in his home in Surrey in the U.K. on February 28th 2022.

Watford—who had changed his name from the original Tolstosheya—was born in 1955 in then-Soviet Ukraine and had made a name for himself after becoming an oil and gas magnate.

Watford, 66 years old, was found hanged in the garage of his home by a gardener, according to The Daily Mail. Surrey police said the circumstances around his death were not suspicious, as reported by the BBC.

Watford lived in the house with his Estonian wife Jane and his three children.

Mikhail Watford
Watford lived in the house with his Estonian wife Jane and his three children.

Alexander Tyulyakov

February 25th 2022

On February 25th 2022, Gazprom’s Deputy General Director of the Unified Settlement Center (UCC) for Corporate Security, Alexander Tyulyakov, was found dead in a cottage near St. Petersburg, as reported by the Russian newspaper Gazeta.

Tyulyakov’s body was reportedly found hanged in the apartment’s garage. Police found a note next to his body that led investigators to believe the oligarch had died by suicide.

An employee of the Investigative Committee for the Leningrad region working on Tyulyakov’s death told independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta that forensic specialists were already working at the scene of the apparent suicide when Gazprom’s security service staff arrived and cordoned off the crime scene, leaving police officers outside the house.

Tyulyakov, 61, had worked for Gazprom for about ten years, and had previously served as Deputy General Director for Corporate Security and Human Resources at the energy giant.

Alexander Tyulyakov
Tyulyakov, 61, had worked for Gazprom for about ten years, and had previously served as Deputy General Director for Corporate Security and Human Resources at the energy giant.

Leonid Shulman

January 2022

The first death linked to Russian energy giant Gazprom dates back to before the Russian invasion of Ukraine had even started, in January.

At that time, 60-year-old Gazprom’s top manager Leonid Shulman was found dead in the bathroom of a cottage in the Leningrad region, next to a note that led police to believe he died by suicide, according to Gazeta and Russian media group RBC.

RBC reports that Gazprom Invest said it was investigating the death of Schulman.

“Our colleague, the head of the transport service, Leonid Aleksandrovich Shulman, has passed away. The circumstances are being investigated,” RBC quotes the company saying.

According to RBC, Shulman was on sick leave when he died.

Leonid Shulman
According to RBC, Shulman was on sick leave when he died.

Boris A. Berezovsky

2013

LONDON — A British coroner said Thursday that he could not establish whether the mysterious death of Boris A. Berezovsky, a businessman and power broker from Russia, was suicide or homicide.

The unusual open verdict seemed to offer an aptly enigmatic epitaph for Mr. Berezovsky, a onetime mathematics professor who lived a life of intrigue
and drama in Russia from the breakup of the Soviet Union, when he acquired great wealth, until 2000, when he fell afoul of President Vladimir V. Putin and fled into self-exile in London.


From here, he mounted a sustained political campaign against Mr. Putin until 2013, when he was found dead in a locked bathroom at a luxury home outside London belonging to a former wife, Galina Besharova.

Speculative theories have swirled around Mr. Berezovsky’s death ever since, not least because one of his close associates, the former K.G.B. officer Alexander V. Litvinenko, died in 2006 after being poisoned with a rare radioactive isotope, polonium 210.