According to the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, top Russian energy official Ivan Pechorin mysteriously drowned in the arctic waters near Cape Ignatiev on Russky Island.
The man in charge of developing Russia’s rich Arctic resources under Vladimir Putin passed away after ‘falling overboard’ while sailing off the Pacific coast of the country.
Ivan Pechorin, 39, was the managing director of Putin’s Far East and Arctic Development Corporation and had just returned from Vladivostok, where the Kremlin leader had hosted a major conference.
He is the most recent in a long line of important figures recently found dead in mysterious circumstances who were connected to Russia’s oil industry and the Kremlin.
According to the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, Pechorin fell off the side of a boat in the waters of Russky Island near Cape Ignatiev.
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After a day-long search, his body was discovered.
“Ivan’s death is an irreparable loss for friends and colleagues, a great loss for the corporation,” an official statement from the corporation read.
“We offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends.”
Igor Nosov, the 43-year-old former CEO of the company, also passed away unexpectedly in February, purportedly following a stroke.
In light of sanctions and the unprecedented economic difficulties facing Putin’s economy as a result of his conflict in Ukraine, development of the Arctic, a significant source of oil and gas for Russia, is considered as crucial.
In the vast east of Russia, Pechorin was also in charge of the development of the air industry, a field that has been particularly hard hit by Western economic restraints.
In a session titled “Everyone has their Own Route: The Logistics of a Changed World,” which was intended to circumvent sanctions, he recently spoke at the Eastern Economic Forum under Putin’s direction.
However, his death is only the most recent in a string of mysterious incidents that occurred before and during the conflict with Ukraine, in which a number of Russian power brokers met a tragic end.
Every death has been attributed to an accident or suicide by the authorities, but many people think that those who pose a threat to Putin’s authority are simply being eliminated from the game since they have access to vital information.
Oil tycoon Ravil Maganov, 67, died on September 1 after falling from a Moscow hospital’s sixth storey window.
Although this has not been independently verified, one report said that the chairman of Lukoil, the second-largest oil business in Russia, was “beaten” before being “thrown out of a window.”
Prior to now, Lukoil had expressed opposition to the conflict in Ukraine.
Maganov passed away immediately before Putin arrived at the prestigious Central Clinical Hospital to pay his respects to Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader to pass away there just days ago.
Yuri Voronov, 61, the head of a transport and logistics firm for a company affiliated with Gazprom, was discovered dead in his swimming pool in July. There were suspicions of foul play.
In luxury residences close to St. Petersburg, two more deaths of executives connected to Gazprom were recorded, fueling speculation that the killings may have been murders.
The day after the conflict in Ukraine broke out in February, Alexander Tyulakov, 61, a senior deputy general director level financial and security executive for Gazprom, was found by his lover.
In his £500,000 property in the luxurious Leninsky gated housing development, his neck was in a noose, but numerous sources claim his corpse had been severely bruised, raising the possibility that he was the target of intense pressure from criminals.
That occurred only three weeks after Leonid Shulman, 60, the chief of transport at Gazprom Invest, was discovered dead in a pool of blood on the toilet floor of the same gated community with several stab wounds.
The body of Russian energy billionaire Alexander Subbotin, 43, who was a top manager at the Kremlin-friendly Lukoil and a billionaire, was discovered in May.
One hypothesis holds that Subbotin, who also ran a shipping business, suffered a heart attack after being poisoned by toad venom.
And in April, wealthy former Kremlin official Vladislav Avayev, 51, who was closely associated with the Russian financial organisation Gazprombank, appeared to have committed suicide after killing his wife Yelena, 47, and daughter, 13.
Friends have refuted rumours that he was envious after his wife revealed she was carrying their driver’s child, and there are allegations that he had access to the Kremlin elite’s financial information.
Millionaire Sergey Protosenya, 55, was discovered hanging in Spain a few days later after killing his wife Natalia, 53, and their teenage daughter Maria, apparently with an axe.
He was formerly Novatek’s deputy chairman, a business that has ties to the Kremlin as well.
Similar to the case of Avayev, it has been hypothesised that this was a murder-suicide cover for an assassination.
In yet another case that increased suspicions, a multi-millionaire in the mobile phone industry and his wife were found fatally murdered last week.
Yevgeny Palant, 47, and his wife Olga, 50, both of Ukrainian descent, were discovered by their 20-year-old daughter Polina with several stab wounds.
The couple’s best friend vehemently refuted accusations made in an official briefing to the media that the woman committed suicide after Palant told her he was leaving her.