If you stand with Ukraine and happen to be in Russia, you might want to steer clear of any large windows. Or medium-sized windows. Or, really, any windows that might be large enough to accommodate the bulk of your body, as window-falling has become a bizarrely common cause of death within circles of individuals with political ties to Vladimir Putin. As The Daily Beast reports, Ravil Maganov—Lukoil’s chairman of the board in Russia—is the latest victim. On Thursday, the 67-year old seems to somehow have fatally fallen from the sixth floor of a hospital in Moscow, like something you might only see in a Looney Tunes cartoon.
While Interfax, an independent Russian news agency, reported the details of Maganov’s death, writing that he “fell out the window of his room at [the hospital] this morning. He died of his injuries,” a press release issued by his employer left out the suspicious circumstances and instead explained:
“We are deeply saddened to inform you that Ravil Maganov … passed away after a serious illness. Ravil Ulfatovich made an invaluable contribution not only to the development of the company, but to the entire Russian oil and gas industry.”
Lukoil, Russia’s second-largest oil company, took the rare step of very publicly condemning the war in Ukraine, which has many people wondering if Maganov’s death might not be so accidental after all — and well they should be. As Newsweek reports, Maganov is one of more than half-a-dozen prominent figures with ties to Russia to die under bizarre circumstances this year alone.
In May, Maganov’s colleague Alexander Subbotin, another part of Lukoil’s top brass, was found dead in a shaman’s home where so-called “voodoo rituals” were being performed. Just two months later, in July, Latvian-American banker Dan Rapoport—who had been openly critical of Putin—died after falling from an apartment building in Washington, DC. Rapoport’s death came approximately five years after his former business partner Sergei Tkachenko fell to his own death from a Moscow apartment building.
In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, three Russian doctors fell out of hospital windows over a two-week period, though only two of them — both of whom had been railing against the challenging working conditions they were being faced to endure — died. The third doctor, who was being blamed for giving COVID to her colleagues, was seriously injured but survived.
In April, financier Bill Browder, who conducted lots of work in Russia, warned Newsweek that “any time you see a wealthy Russian dying in suspicious circumstances,” you should assume the worst.
(Via The Daily Beast)