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Lukoil chairman dies in mysterious fall from Moscow hospital window

Lukoil Chairman Ravil Maganov, right, with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 21, 2019. Maganov’s fall is at least the sixth fatal incident this year involving Russian oil and gas executives whose lives ended in gory or murky circumstances. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/AFP/Getty Images)

The chairman of Russia’s second-largest oil company, Lukoil, died Thursday after reportedly falling from the window of a Moscow hospital where he was being treated after suffering a heart attack.

Ravil Maganov, 67, fell from a sixth-floor window at the Central Clinical Hospital around 7 a.m. local time, the state-run Tass news agency reported.

It was not clear whether Maganov’s death was an accident, a suicide or something more sinister.

Conflicting theories immediately emerged in the Russian media, with Tass citing an unnamed source in law enforcement as saying that Maganov had been taking antidepressants and killed himself.

Baza, an online outlet with links to the police, reported that the oil executive might have slipped while smoking on a balcony.

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Lukoil confirmed Maganov’s death but said only that he “passed away following a severe illness.”

“Ravil Maganov immensely contributed to the development of not only the company, but of the entire Russian oil and gas sector,” the company said in a statement posted on its website that also expressed condolences to his family on behalf of Lukoil’s “thousands of employees.”

Maganov’s unexplained fall is one of several incidents this year involving high-profile Russian oil and gas executives whose lives ended in gory or murky circumstances.

In April, the body of a former top manager of gas giant Novatek, Sergey Protosenya, was found at a Spanish villa alongside those of his wife and their 18-year-old daughter.

Spanish news outlet Telecinco reported that police found the mother and the daughter in separate rooms with stab wounds. Protosenya was found in the yard, where he reportedly hanged himself.

Spanish media reported at the time that murder-suicide was the Catalan police’s leading theory in their investigation.

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Novatek, however, seemingly cast doubt that Protosenya could be responsible for the deaths of his wife and daughter. He “established himself as an outstanding person and a wonderful family man,” the company said in a statement. “Unfortunately, speculations have emerged in the media about this topic, but we are convinced that these speculations bear no relation to reality.”

A former vice president of Gazprombank, Vladislav Avayev, was similarly found dead in April alongside his wife and daughter in their Moscow apartment.

A month later, former Lukoil tycoon Alexander Subbotin died of heart failure in the Moscow region after reportedly receiving homeopathic treatment from a shaman, who offered his clients injections of toad poison.

Lukoil made headlines in March as the only Russian oil producer that called for an end to the war in Ukraine. In a statement issued just days after the Feb. 24 invasion, Lukoil “expressed concern over the ongoing tragic events in Ukraine” and called for “the immediate cessation of the armed conflict.”

Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov resigned in late April after being sanctioned by Western countries. Maganov had served as Lukoil’s first executive vice president since 1994 and was appointed in 2020 to lead its board of directors. His brother, Nail Maganov, is the CEO of another large oil and gas company, Tatneft.

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