Russia, managers and politicians: 13 mysterious deaths in 2023

For many there was talk of suicides, for others of accidents

At least 13 Russian business leaders have died by suicide or in unclear circumstances since the beginning of last year. Sausage mogul and congressman Pavel Antov died in India last December, after falling from the third floor of the hotel where he was staying in what was ruled by the Indian authorities as a suicide. Just two days earlier, his friend and traveling companion, Vladimir Budanov died of a heart attack on Antov’s 65th birthday. Budanov, 61, suffered from a heart condition, according to police.

Alexander Buzakov, director of conventional submarine shipyards, died suddenly in December. No cause of death reported by authorities. Anatoly Gerashchenko, former rector of the Moscow Aviation Institute died in an unexplained crash in September, the institute said. The president of the oil company Lukoil Ravil Maganov died in early September after falling from a Moscow hospital window. The businessman Ivan Pechorin, head of the Far East and Arctic Development Company, was found dead in Vladivostok. He had drowned on September 10 near Punta Ignatyev.

The manager of Lukoil Alexander Subbotin was found dead near Moscow in May, after meeting with a shaman. The manager of Gazprom Leonid Shulman, head of the transport directorate of Gazprom Invest, was found dead at his dacha in Leninsky, near St. Petersburg on January 30, 2022. Next to his body, the investigators found a farewell note. The following month, on February 25, another Gazprom executive, Alexander Tyulakov, was found dead in the garage of his home in the same village. Novaya Gazeta had spoken then of suicide.

The former deputy chairman of Gazprombank, Vladislav Avayev, had been found dead with his wife and daughter in his home in Moscow on April 18, 2022. The authorities had spoken of suicide after the double homicide. April 19th Sergey Protosenya, a former executive of gas producer Novatek, a company partly controlled by Gazprom, was found dead at his home in Lloret de Mar, near Barcelona. The bodies of his wife and daughter were found in his residence, with signs of violence. Again, the Spanish authorities had concluded that it had been a double homicide followed by suicide, a version disputed by his son, according to whom it was a triple homicide.

The Russian billionaire of Ukrainian origin Michael Watfordwas found dead at his home in Surrey, England on February 28, 2022. Vasily Melnikov43, the head of MedStom, a medical components company, was found dead with his wife, 41, and their two children, aged ten and four, in Nizhny Novgorod on March 23 last year.