Russian President Vladimir Putin stands next to first executive vice president of oil producer Lukoil Ravil Maganov after awarding him with the Order of Alexander Nevsky during an awards ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia November 21, 2019.

Mikhail Klimentyev | Kremlin | Sputnik | via Reuters

WASHINGTON – The death of Ravil Maganov, chairman of Russian oil giant Lukoil, on Thursday in a Moscow hospital appears to be the eighth time this year that a Russian energy executive has died suddenly and under unusual circumstances.

Maganov died after falling from a window at the capital’s Central Clinical Hospital, according to Russia’s state-sponsored Interfax news agency. The circumstances of Maganov’s death were confirmed by Reuters, citing two anonymous sources. The oil company and its CEO had criticized the war in Ukraine and expressed their disapproval in a March 3 statement.

But Lukoil, the company Maganov helped build, said in a press statement the 67-year-old “died after a serious illness”. The Russian embassy in Washington did not respond to a request from CNBC for official comment.

The circumstances surrounding Maganov’s sudden death have attracted international attention, in part because seven other senior Russian energy executives have died untimely since January, according to reports from Russian and international news outlets.

Below is a list of these cases in chronological order.

  • In late January, Leonid Shulman, a top executive at 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 on his death but gave no cause.
  • On February 25, another Gazprom executive, Alexander Tyulakov, was found dead in the same village as Shulman, this time in a garage. According to Russian media outlet Novaya Gazeta, investigators found a note near Tyulakov’s body.
  • On February 28, three days after Tyulakov’s death, a Russian oil and gas billionaire living in England, Mikhail Watford, was found hanged in the garage of his country house. Investigators at the time 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 apartment in Moscow along with his wife and daughter, who also died. Authorities were treating 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 liquefied natural gas producer, was found dead in a holiday home in Spain. Like Avayev in Moscow, Sergei Protosenya was found with his wife and daughter, who were also deceased. And like Avayev said, police investigating the scene believed it was a homicide-suicide, a theory that Avayev’s surviving son has publicly denied.
  • In May, the body of billionaire and former Lukoil manager Alexander Subbotin was discovered in the basement of a country house in the Moscow region. The room where Subbotin died was allegedly used for “Jamaican voodoo rituals,” the Russian state media company TASS reported, citing local authorities.
  • In July, Yury Voronov, the CEO and founder of a shipping company servicing Gazprom’s Arctic projects, was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound in a swimming pool at his home in Leninsky, the same elite St. Petersburg condominium where Shulman and Tyulakov died earlier in the year.

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