Russian President Vladimir Putin stands next to First Executive Vice President of oil producer Lukoil Ravil Maganov after decorating him with the Order of Alexander Nevsky during an awarding ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, November 21, 2019.
Mikhail Klimentyev | Kremlin | Sputnik | via Reuters
WASHINGTON — The death of Ravil Maganov, chairman of the Russian oil giant Lukoil, at a hospital in Moscow on Thursday appears to mark the eighth time this year that a Russian energy executive has died suddenly and under unusual circumstances.
Maganov died after falling out of the window of the capital’s Central Clinical Hospital, according to the Russian state-sponsored news outlet Interfax. The circumstances of Maganov’s death were confirmed by Reuters, citing two anonymous sources.
But Lukoil, the company that Maganov helped to build, said the 67 year old had “passed away following a serious illness” in a press statement. The Russian embassy in Washington did not respond to a request from CNBC for an official statement.
The circumstances surrounding Maganov’s sudden death have drawn international attention, in part, because seven other top Russian energy executives have been victims of untimely deaths since January, according to reports by Russian and international news agencies.
Below is a list of these cases, in chronological order.
- In late January, Leonid Shulman, a top executive at the Russian natural gas giant Gazprom, was found dead in the bathroom of a cottage in the village of Leninsky. The Russian media group RBC reported his death, but did not cite a cause.
- On Feb. 25, another Gazprom executive, Alexander Tyulakov, was found dead in the same village as Shulman, this time in a garage. According to the Russian media outlet Novaya Gazeta, investigators found a note near Tyulakov’s body.
- On Feb. 28, three days after Tyulakov died, a Russian oil and gas billionaire living in England, Mikhail Watford, was found hanged in the garage of his country estate. At the time, investigators reportedly said Watford’s death was “unexplained,” but did not appear suspicious.
- On April 18, a former vice president of Gazprombank, Vladislav Avayev, was found dead in his Moscow apartment, alongside his wife and daughter, who also died. Authorities treated the case as a murder-suicide, Radio Free Europe reported at the time. Gazprombank is Russia’s third largest bank and has close ties to the energy sector.
- On April 19, a former deputy chairman of Novatek, Russia’s largest…