Ravil Maghanov, the chairman of Russia’s second-biggest oil producer Lukoil ( LKOH.MM ), died on Thursday after falling from a hospital window in Moscow, two sources familiar with the situation said, becoming the latest in a series of businessmen to meet with sudden unexplained deaths.
The sources confirmed reports by several Russian media outlets that the 67-year-old had drowned to his death, but the circumstances under which he fell were unclear.
Two people who knew Maganov well told Reuters they thought it highly unlikely he had killed himself.
In his own company there is a strong belief that he committed suicide, but there is still insufficient evidence to confirm this.
Asked by Reuters whether they were investigating the death as suspicious, Moscow police referred the question to the state’s Investigative Committee. The committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lukoil said in a statement that Maganov “died after a serious illness.”
“Thousands of Lukoil employees deeply mourn this heavy loss and express their sincere condolences to the family of Ravil Maganov,” it said.
Dead Russian oligarchs
Several other senior executives with ties to Russia’s energy industry have died suddenly in undisclosed circumstances in recent months.
The day after Russia sent its forces into Ukraine in February, a Gazprom executive, Alexander Tyulakov, was found dead in his garage near St. Petersburg, Russian media reported.
In April, Sergei Protosenya, a former top executive at Russia’s biggest liquefied natural gas producer Novatek ( NVTK.MM ), was found dead with his wife and daughter in a villa in Spain. Catalan regional police, who are investigating the case, said they believe he killed them and then killed himself.
In May, Russian media reported that a former Lukoil director, Alexander Subbotin, was found dead in the basement of a house outside Moscow.
That same month, Russian media reported that Vladislav Avayev, a former vice president of Gazprombank, was found dead in a Moscow apartment, along with the bodies of his wife and daughter.
Was it this line that “burned” him?
Maganov had worked at Lukoil since 1993, shortly after the company was founded, and had overseen its refining, production and exploration, becoming chairman in 2020. His brother Nail is head of mid-sized Russian oil producer Tatneft (TATN .MM) .
Unusually among Russian companies, Lukoil took a stand on Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine. In a March 3 statement, the company’s board expressed its concern over the “tragic events” in Ukraine and called for “the earliest possible end to the armed conflict” through negotiations.
Maganov was a close associate of one of Lukoil’s founders, Vagit Alekperov, and often attended meetings of Russian oil producers and the energy ministry to decide on joint actions as part of the OPEC+ group of the world’s top oil producers.
Alekperov, a former Soviet deputy oil minister, resigned as chairman of Lukoil in April, a week after Britain imposed an asset freeze and travel ban on him as part of sanctions over Russia’s military actions in Ukraine.