Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, around 15 Russian oil executives and bankers have died in at least moderately suspicious circumstances.
Anatoly Gerashchenko, the former head of the Moscow Aviation Institute, was working at the university this week as an adviser when he “died in an accident,” according to the group’s press release. The Russian newspaper Izvestia reports that the 70-year-old aviation expert “fell from a great height, flying down several flights of stairs” to his death.
Gerashchenko is far from the only prominent Russian figure to lose their life in strange circumstances over the last few weeks. On September 14, the 68-year-old editor of the pro-Kremlin state newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, Vladimir Sungorkin, died while on a business trip in Far East Russia. According to a colleague who wrote about the incident, Sungorkin “began to suffocate” while driving; a doctor later determined that he had suffered a stroke. The day before Sungorkin’s death, Ivan Pechorin, the 39-year-old managing director of the state-run Far East and Arctic Development Corporation, also died in the Far East, falling off a moving boat in the Sea of Japan.
The most notable death in the ranks of Russia’s business elite came on September 1, when Ravil Maganov, the 67-year-old chairman of Lukoil, died after falling out the window of the sixth floor of Moscow Central Clinical Hospital. The Russian state news agency TASS reported the death of the leader of the country’s second-largest oil-and-gas firm as a suicide.