Ravil Maganov, the chairman of Russia's second-largest oil producer Lukoil, mysteriously died after falling from a hospital window in Moscow on Thursday, according to Russian media reports. Maganov, 67, reportedly plunged from the sixth-floor window of the Central Clinical Hospital, according to police sources cited by RBC news website.
However, the circumstances surrounding his fall remain unclear. Maganov was the chairman of Lukoil, a firm that openly criticized Putin's invasion of Ukraine. While Russian media is claiming Maganov plunged to his death, there are other unverified reports also doing the rounds. Lukoil confirmed Maganov's death - but said his death was a result of a "serious illness".
Another Big Shot Dead
Kremlin Clinic, the hospital known for treating Russia's elite in politics and business, announced Maganov's death on Thursday morning without going into additional detail about the circumstances of his death.
According to two people who knew Maganov well, it was extremely unlikely that he had committed suicide, Reuters reported. Although he had not seen any proof or documentation to back it up, a second source close to the company claimed that there was a belief within Lukoil executives that he had committed suicide.
When Reuters asked Moscow police if they were looking into the death as suspicious, they directed them to the state's Investigative Committee. A request for comment was not immediately answered by the Committee.
Lukoil on the other hand said that Maganov's death was a result of a "serious illness". "It is with deep regret that we inform you that Ravil Maganov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of PJSC LUKOIL, passed away after a serious illness," a statement from the company read.
"Ravil Ulfatovich made an invaluable contribution not only to the development of the company, but to the entire Russian oil and gas industry."
Maganov is the most recent in a line of prominent and high-profile corporate executives to die under mysterious circumstances in the days following Russia's invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.
The largest privately owned oil business in Russia, Lukoil, denounced Putin's invasion in March and issued a statement expressing "its deepest concerns about the tragic events in Ukraine."
The company's board that that time release a statement condemning Putin's invasion of Ukraine. "Calling for the soonest termination of the armed conflict, we express our sincere empathy for all victims who are affected by this tragedy," the board's statement read.
"We strongly support a lasting ceasefire and a settlement of problems through serious negotiations and diplomacy.
"The company makes every effort to continue its operations in all countries and regions where it is present, committed to its primary mission of a reliable supplier of energy to consumers around the world. In its activities, Lukoil aspires to contribute to peace, international relations, and humanitarian ties."
In recent months, a number of other senior executives with ties to Russia's oil sector have died suddenly and under mysterious circumstances. In February, a day after sending troops into Ukraine, a Gazprom executive named Alexander Tyulakov was found dead in his garage close to St. Petersburg, according to Russian media.
The bodies of Sergei Protosenya, a former senior executive of Novatek, the country's largest producer of liquefied natural gas, along with those of his wife and daughter, were discovered in a villa in Spain in April. Regional police in Catalonia, who are looking into the crime, have stated that they think he killed them before killing himself.
Alexander Subbotin, a former Lukoil manager, was reportedly discovered dead in a home's basement south of Moscow in May, according to Russian media.
In the same month, Vladislav Avayev, an ex-vice president of Gazprombank, was reported by Russian media to have been discovered dead in a Moscow apartment alongside the bodies of his wife and daughter.
Maganov served as executive vice president from 2006 until 2020 before becoming chairman of Lukoil in 2020. Since joining the board in the early 1990s, he had been working for the corporation in senior roles.
Both he and his brother Nail Maganov entered the oil industry, and Nail Maganov currently serves as the CEO of Tatneft, another oil corporation.
While his son Ravil is a race driver, Maganov's wife Fania is the principal of the English First language school in Almetyevsk.
In 2019, Putin had given him the Order of Alexander Nevsky.
It is still unknown why Maganov was hospitalized. Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the Soviet Union, passed away earlier this week in the same hospital on Marshal Timoshenko Street in Moscow.
In Russia, it is governed by the presidential Kremlin administration.