‘Assuming the worst’ – Death of Russian oligarchs continues to be debated

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Of: Sandra Kathe


Two dead Russian oligarchs and their dead relatives were found within 24 hours last week. Is the Kremlin there for something?

Update for Friday, April 29, 8:40 a.m.: In recent weeks, several Russian oligarchs have died in mysterious circumstances since the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. Financier and political activist Bill Browder has a theory about who might be responsible for the unexplained deaths. We must “expect the worst”, he told the American news portal Newsweek.

Browder himself was a major portfolio investor in Russia. “Whenever a wealthy Russian dies under suspicious circumstances, you should assume the worst and then rule it out,” Browder said, “rather than assuming it’s normal and then looking for the other, more ominous alternative. .” In my experience, the explanation for the death of a wealthy person who dies under suspicious circumstances is, in most cases, grim and not innocent when it comes to Russians. Specifically, he talks about possible Kremlin involvement in the deaths.

“There is enough empirical evidence of murders orchestrated by the Kremlin or business competitors in Russia to make it likely that they were murders and not suicides or other explanations being put out by Russian authorities.”

Since the start of the Ukrainian war, several Russian oligarchs have faced Western sanctions as Putin’s confidants. It is unclear if these are related to the mysterious deaths. (Iconic image) © Ramil Sitdikov/AFP

Mysterious deaths of Russian oligarchs: relatives speak of murder

First report for Wednesday, April 27, 4:50 p.m.: Moscow/Lloret de Mar – The deaths of several Russian oligarchs since the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine continues to intrigue investigating authorities and relatives. In the case of Sergey Protosenya, who was found dead along with his wife and 18-year-old daughter last Tuesday (April 19), several companions and even the gas mogul’s son have now spoken out publicly against the suicide theory.

The Russian multimillionaire, former deputy director of the gas company Nowatek, was found hanged by Spanish police at his property in Lloret de Mar, Spain. His wife and daughter had been murdered with axes. In comparable cases, the police assume a protracted suicide, in which a perpetrator first murders his relatives and then commits suicide. But according to information from the Catalan newspaper El Punt Avui, there are at least initial doubts about the Protosenya affair.

Ukrainian war: riddles about dead Russian oligarchs – “My father is not a murderer”

This has now been confirmed by son Fedor, 22, who in a first statement to the Daily Mail newspaper rules out a prolonged suicide: ‘My father is not a murderer,’ said Protosenya, who was in France at the time . of the incident and alerted the police after he could not reach his family by phone. Protosenya’s former company Nowatek is also protective of its former deputy director: “We are confident that the speculation will prove to be false,” a statement read.

Since the start of the Ukrainian war, several Russian oligarchs have faced Western sanctions as Putin's confidants.  It is unclear if these are related to the mysterious deaths.
Since the start of the Ukrainian war, several Russian oligarchs have faced Western sanctions as Putin’s confidants. It is unclear if these are related to the mysterious deaths. (Iconic photo) © Ramil Sitdikov/AFP

Although the Spanish authorities have not yet provided official information on the results of the investigation or the autopsy, as reported by the Daily Mail, no fingerprints have been found on the alleged murder weapons, an ax and a knife. No blood was found on the 55-year-old’s body to indicate he had murdered his 53-year-old wife and daughter.

Mysterious circumstances: Many dead since the start of the war in Ukraine

What makes the case even more mysterious is the fact that the day before the bodies were discovered by Spanish police in Lloret de Mar, an oligarch had also been found dead in Russia alongside his wife and daughter. . This is the former deputy director of Gazprom Bank Vladislav Avayev, who also worked for the Kremlin in the past. Also in Avayev’s case, it appeared the 51-year-old first murdered his wife and 13-year-old daughter in the luxurious Moscow apartment and then killed himself.

Since the beginning of the year, in addition to the two families of oligarchs, several wealthy Russians have died in ways that have not yet been explained. Among them were former Gazprom officials Leonid Shulman and Alexander Tyulyakov, who were found dead in January and February. On February 28, shortly after the start of the Ukrainian war, entrepreneur Mikhail Watford, who lived in Britain, was also found hanged. (ska)

We generally do not report suicides, lest such cases encourage potential copycats. Reporting only takes place if the circumstances are the subject of particular public attention. If you or someone you know is suffering from a life crisis or depression, please contact the telephone advice service on: 0800-1110111. Help with depression and other psychological emergencies is also available at www.deutsche-depressionshilfe.de. The Frankfurt crisis service also offers help on 069-611375. Further information is available on the website www.bsf-frankfurt.de.

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