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At least ten rich Russian oligarchs and critics of Vladimir Putin have been found dead in mysterious circumstances this year.
Since Putin unleashed his troops into Ukraine in February, it is feared a number of wealthy businessmen and former cronies have been murdered.
A number of people who have criticised Putin have died this year
Just days ago, wealthy Russian MP Pavel Antov was found dead after an unexplained fall in India.
The sausage multi-millionaire had criticised Putin's war in Ukraine.
Antov, from the main pro-Putin party United Russia, died on Christmas Eve on a trip to mark his 66th birthday.
Indian media reported that the sausage tycoon jumped from the roof but Russia’s consul general Alexei Idamkin insisted he fell from a window.
Married mogul Antov, listed as Russia’s richest elected politician in 2019, was found in a pool of blood in Rayagada, Odisha state.
He is the latest of the Kremlin's inner circle to be found dead in suspicious circumstances amid claims there were similarities in some of their deaths.
AT least ten rich Russian oligarchs and critics of Vladimir Putin have been found dead in mysterious circumstances this year. Since Putin unleashed his troops into Ukraine in February, it is feared…
On July 9, an anonymous Wikipedia editor with the username “cgbuff” started Wikipedia’s 2022 Russian mystery deaths article, which chronicles “unusual deaths of Russian-connected businessmen [that] occurred under what some sources suggest were suspicious circumstances.” When the article was first published, it listed just nine Russian oligarchs.Today, it chronicles 17 deaths, and it’s been viewed more than 400,000 times.
It’s just one way Wikipedia is keeping tabs on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
On 3 June 2022, the Dutch NOS news network described the phenomenon as "a grim series of Russian billionaires, many from the oil and gas industries, who have been found dead under unusual circumstances since early this year. The first was on 30 January, when 60-year-old Leonid Shulman, transport chief for Russian energy giant Gazprom, was found dead in the bathroom of his country house in the Leningrad region. Beside his body was a suicide note." On 6 July 2022, CNN Portugal described the group as "millionaires with direct or indirect links to the Kremlin found dead in a mystery scenario since the beginning of the year". It referred to a previous investigation by USA Today, which concluded that "38 Russian businessmen and oligarchs close to the Kremlin died in mysterious or suspicious circumstances between 2014 and 2017."
Friends and families of the deceased Russian businessmen generally found it "unthinkable" that they killed themselves – and in some cases also their wives and children – and have demanded an independent investigation into the mysterious deaths. Igor Volobuyev, the Ukrainian-born ex-vice-chairman of Gazprombank, who left Russia during the outbreak of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and joined the Freedom of Russia Legion, said in an interview with The Insider that he thought that his former colleague Vladislav Avayev's alleged murder of his family and subsequent suicide had been staged: "Why? That is difficult to say. Perhaps he knew something and posed some kind of danger." Likewise, Sergey Protosenya's son, who was not in Spain when his parents and sister were found dead in Lloret de Mar, stated his father was not the perpetrator ("my father is not a murderer"), but that his parents and sister were murdered by someone else. Protosenya was the former CEO of gas giant Novatek, which published a statement saying he was "a real family man", and called on the Spanish authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation. Businessman and critic of the Russian federal government Bill Browder has opined that Putin is personally ordering executions of influential business leaders in critical sectors whom he feels will not be yes men and intimidates their successors with threats of death or violence.
^^^ Click to see list in a chart with details