Mysterious death of Putin ally who fell overboard at full-speed

Putin says Russia is doing a ‘great job’

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Mystery surrounds the death of one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Arctic allies as Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine faces a major setback. Ivan Pechorin, 39, managing director of the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, reportedly fell off a boat at full speed and died on Saturday near Russky Island in the Sea of Japan in Primorsky Krai, Russia, near Vladivostock, about 5,800 miles east of Moscow. 

Mr Pechorin worked under Putin, according to Russian publication Komsomolskaya Pravda, and modernised aviation in eastern Russia while developing resources in the Arctic in light of heavy sanctions.

His last public appearance reportedly occurred at the Eastern Economic Forum, held from September 5 to 8 in Vladivostok. 

The Daily Mail reported that Mr Pechorin spoke during a session called “Everyone has their Own Route: The Logistics of a Changed World”.

His death follows that of the corporation’s former CEO, Igor Nosov, 43, who reportedly died suddenly from a stroke in February.

On September 1, Ravil Maganov, 67, an oil tycoon and former head of Russia’s second-largest oil company, Lukoil, reportedly fell to his death from a sixth-floor window of a Moscow hospital. 

Unconfirmed reports allege that Mr Maganov was “beaten” and “thrown out of a window.”

The oil tycoon had previously expressed his opposition to the invasion of Ukraine, while Lukoil said his death came “after a serious illness.”

On January 30, 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, with a suicide note beside his body.

On June 3, the Dutch NOS news network noted 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”. 

On July 6, CNN Portugal described the group of dead Russian’s as “millionaires with direct or indirect links to the Kremlin found dead in a mystery scenario since the beginning of the year”.

They 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.”

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On January 30, 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, with a suicide note beside his body.

On June 3, the Dutch NOS news network noted 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”. 

On July 6, CNN Portugal described the group of dead Russian’s as “millionaires with direct or indirect links to the Kremlin found dead in a mystery scenario since the beginning of the year”.

They 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.”

Igor Volobuyev, the Ukrainian-born ex-vice-chairman of Gazprombank, who left Russia amid the outbreak of the invasion 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.

He told the outlet: “Why? That is difficult to say. Perhaps he knew something and posed some kind of danger”.

Sergey Protosenya, Former executive at Novatek, was found dead on April 19 after being hanged from a handrail, while his wife and daughter were found dead in their beds with blunt axe hits and stab wounds.

Mr Protosenya’s son, who was not in Spain when his parents and sister were found dead in Lloret de Mar, insisted “my father is not a murderer”, and added he believes his parents and sister were murdered by someone else.

It comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed troops have retaken more than 6,000 sq km (2,317 sq miles) from Russian control in September, in the east and the south.

Speaking on Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Ukrainian forces had made “significant progress” in their counter-offensive, but added that it was too early to predict the outcome.

He said: “The Russians maintain very significant forces in Ukraine as well as equipment and arms and munitions. 

“They continue to use it indiscriminately against not just the Ukrainian armed forces but civilians and civilian infrastructure as we’ve seen.”

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