The chairman of Russia's Lukoil oil giant, Ravil Maganov, has died after allegedly falling from a hospital window. According to Russian media, Maganov, aged 67, was being treated at Moscow's Central Clinical Hospital and died of his injuries. What makes his death controversial is the fact that it’s the eighth and latest among several high-profile business executives to die in mysterious circumstances. Lukoil is Russia's second-largest oil company, produces more than 2% of the world's crude oil and employs over 100,000 people.
Russian investigating authorities have said that they are working at the scene to establish how he died. Meanwhile, Tass news agency quoted sources as saying he had taken his own life by jumping out of a sixth-floor window.
The death comes just months after Lukoil emerged as a rare high-profile voice of dissent against the invasion of Ukraine, expressing its sympathy to victims of "this tragedy." In a joint statement to shareholders, staff, and customers, the company's board of directors said that it was "calling for the soonest termination of the armed conflict. We express our sincere empathy for all victims, who are affected by this tragedy. We strongly support a lasting ceasefire and a settlement of problems through serious negotiations and diplomacy."
Seven other Russian energy oligarchs have died in unusual circumstances in the months following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:
- In April, the body of former Kremlin official and Gazprombank vice-president Sergey Protosenya was found alongside his wife and daughter at a Spanish villa
- Again in April, former vice-president of Gazprombank, Vladislav Avayev, was found dead with his wife and daughter in their Moscow flat, also in April
- In May, a former Lukoil tycoon Alexander Subbotin died of heart failure, reportedly after seeking alternative treatment from a shaman.
Very few businesses and executives have dared speak out against the invasion of Ukraine with the Kremlin moving to severely crack down on any form of dissent. According to independent Russian human rights organization OVD-Info, an estimated 16,000 people have so far been detained by Russian police for expressing or sharing anti-war sentiments.
By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com
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