November 30, 2022

Several prominent Russian businessmen have died by apparent suicide in just three months

4 min read

CNN calls were not returned to Gazprom.

A senior Gazprom executive was found dead in his cottage on January 30, 2022, in the village of Leninsky, near Leningrad, according to Russian state media RIA Novosti.

The RIA has reported that a suicide note was found at the scene and investigators are investigating the death as a suicide. Russian national broadcaster Ren TV has identified the man as Leonid Schulman, head of transport at Gazprom Invest.

Just over a month later, another senior Gazprom executive was found dead in the same village. Alexander Tulakov was found dead in his garage on February 25, according to the independent Russian newspaper Navaya Gazeta. Novaya Gazeta said he died of suicide.

Leonid Schulman, Head of Transport at Gazprom Invest.
Alexander Tulako, a senior executive at Gazprom.

CNN has asked Russia’s Investigative Committee to comment on the two cases, but has received no response.

Mikhail Watform, a Russian billionaire of Ukrainian descent, was found dead at his home in Surrey, England, on February 28.

Surrey police told CNN the death was being investigated by Coroner, who said a hearing would be held July 29.

Another Russian businessman, Vasily Melenkov, was found dead with his family in Nizhny Novgorod in late March, according to the Russian newspaper Kommersant.

Melenkov was owned by MedStom, a medical supply company. A 43-year-old man, his 41-year-old wife and two children aged four and 10 were stabbed to death on March 23, according to Russia’s Investigative Committee.

The committee did not name Melenikov, but did indicate the age of the dead and the location of the incident.

The regional branch of the inquiry committee has not updated the status of its investigation and has not returned CNN’s request for comment. At the time of the incident, in March, he said there were “no signs of unauthorized entry into the apartment” and “knives were found and confiscated.”

“[Investigators] Several versions of what happened are being considered, including the murder of children and wife by the head of the family, after which he committed suicide, “the committee said.

And earlier this month, two more Russian businessmen were killed in what appeared to be homicides and suicides.

Former Vladimir Putin Vice President Vladislav Ivayev was found dead along with his wife and daughter in his Moscow apartment on April 18, according to Russia’s state news agency TOS.

Citing law enforcement sources, Toss claimed that authorities were investigating Ivy’s death as a homicide and suicide.

Vladislav Avayev, former vice president of Gazprombank,

Yulia Ivanova, a spokeswoman for Moscow’s Investigative Committee, was quoted by Toss as saying that a relative discovered EVF’s body when the family’s driver and nanny told him they could not contact him by phone. Can enter the apartment. Because the door was locked from the inside.

Former Gazprombank VP Igor Volobuev, who recently left Russia for Ukraine, told CNN he did not believe Avayev had killed himself.

“His job was to deal with private banking, dealing with VIP clients. He was in charge of a lot of money. So did he kill himself? I don’t think so. I think he knew something. “She is OK.

Just one day later, on April 19, Sergei Protossinia, a former executive of gas producer Novotech, partly owned by Gazprom, was found dead north of Barcelona. The bodies of his wife and daughter were found nearby, an official source close to the investigation told CNN last week.

Protestantia, his wife and daughter were found at their home in Lloret de Mar, a Mediterranean resort near Barcelona.

According to sources, the bodies of two women with signs of violence were found inside the family’s luxury home, and the body of Protossinia was found outside in the garden. The domestic violence case is being investigated as a double murder and subsequent suicide.

Russian gas tycoon Sergei Protossinia with his wife Natalia.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Protosania’s son questioned the version of events, suggesting that his father had been killed instead.

“He loved my mother and especially my sister Maria. She was his princess. He could never do anything to harm them. I don’t know what happened that night, but I know my father did not hurt her, “said Fedor Protossinia, who was at a family home in France at the time.

Catalan police in the province of Girona, where the town of Lloret de Mar is located, told CNN on Friday that “despite the son’s statements, this is a case of alleged domestic violence.”

A Catalan police spokesman told CNN: “Catalan police have taken statements from the son. Other allegations have been denied. In addition, three murders have been ruled out,” a police spokesman told CNN. told.

“Was that the work of the Russian mafia? Well, no,” the official added.

He was “a wonderful man and a wonderful family man,” said the former employer of Novotech, Protossinia.

“Unfortunately, there has been speculation in the media about this, but we are convinced that these speculations have nothing to do with reality. We hope that the Spanish law enforcement agencies will conduct a thorough and objective investigation.” And we will resolve what happened, “the company said in a statement.

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