A Russian executive has been found dead on the balcony of his Moscow home, just the latest in a series of suspicious-looking ‘suicides’.
Pavel Pchelnikov, 52, a public relations manager for Russian Railways, was found shot to death at his home in the leafy Kolomenskaya Embankment neighborhood early Wednesday.
It makes him at least the 10th high-profile Russian to meet his death under mysterious circumstances since Putin invaded Ukraine in February.
Pavel Pchelnikov, 52, a public relations executive for the railways, was found dead at his home in Moscow in what was ruled a “suicide”.
Pchelnikov had recently been on holiday with his family (left) and his death has been branded as suspicious, just the latest in a series of ‘suicides’ among Russia’s executives raising questions.
Pchelnikov had boasted that he was “the most experienced public relations manager in the Russian Railways company” and went on vacation with his family just a month ago.
He had uploaded smiling pictures of himself while on vacation to social media in the weeks before his death.
A preliminary investigation concluded that Pchelnikov had committed suicide, but did not give details or explain his motive. A full investigation is underway.
On September 1, 67-year-old oil tycoon Ravil Maganov died after falling from the sixth-floor window of a Moscow hospital.
One report says that the chairman of Lukoil, Russia’s second largest oil company, was ‘punched up’ before being ‘thrown out the window’, however this is not officially confirmed.
His company had expressed opposition to the war in Ukraine.
Oddly enough, Putin arrived at the elite Central Clinical Hospital very shortly after Maganov’s body was found to pay his last respects to the late Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who had died in the hospital.
In July, Yuri Voronov, 61, the head of a Gazprom-linked transport and logistics firm, was found dead in his swimming pool, with a leading friend who is a prominent criminologist warning of foul play.
Two other deaths of Gazprom-linked executives were reported in elite homes near St. Petersburg amid suspicions the apparent suicides may have been murders.
Ivan Pechorin, 39, was the managing director of Putin’s Arctic and Far East Development Corporation, which is responsible for developing Russia’s resources in the Arctic and the airline industry in eastern Russia.
Igor Nosov, chief executive of the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation, also died earlier this year aged 40, reportedly of a ‘stroke’.
Ravil Maganov, chairman of Russian oil giant Lukoil, died after falling from a window at the Moscow Central Clinical Hospital (pictured with Vladimir Putin in 2019)
Alexander Tyulakov, 61, a senior Gazprom financial and security official at deputy director-general level, was discovered by his lover the day after the war in Ukraine began in February.
His neck was in a noose at his £500,000 home.
However, reports say he was severely beaten shortly before he “took his own life”, leading to speculation that he was under intense pressure.
Three weeks earlier, in the same elite Leninsky gated community in the Leningrad region, Leonid Shulman, 60, the head of transportation for Gazprom Invest, was found dead with multiple stab wounds in a pool of blood on his bathroom floor.
Billionaire Alexander Subbotin, 43, also linked to the Kremlin-friendly energy giant Lukoil, where he was a top manager, was found dead in May after “following the advice of shamans”.
One theory is that Subbotin, who also owned a shipping company, was poisoned with toad venom which caused a heart attack.
In April, wealthy Vladislav Avayev, 51, a former Kremlin official, apparently took his own life after killing his wife Yelena, 47, and their daughter, 13.
He had high-level ties to Russia’s leading financial institution Gazprombank.
Friends have disputed reports that he was jealous after his wife admitted she was pregnant by their driver.
There are claims that he had access to the financial secrets of the Kremlin elite.
Yuri Voronov, 61, was found dead in August
Two more deaths of Gazprom-linked executives were reported in elite homes near St. Petersburg, fueling suspicions that the deaths may have been murders.
Billionaire Alexander Subbotin, 43, a former top executive at energy giant Lukoil, died in May.
Several days later, billionaire Sergey Protosenya, 55, was found hanged in Spain, after apparently axing his wife Natalia, 53, and their teenage daughter, Maria, to death.
He was vice president of Novatek, a company also closely linked to the Kremlin.
There have also been questions about the death of Putin’s key man for the development of Russia’s vast Arctic resources who “fell overboard” and died from a ship sailing off the country’s Pacific coast.
Ivan Pechorin, 39, had recently attended a major conference organized by the Kremlin’s warmonger in Vladivostok.
The aviator was managing director of Putin’s Arctic and Far East Development Corporation.
And in another case, a mobile phone billionaire and his wife were found stabbed to death, and the official version of events raises questions.
Yevgeny Palant, 47, naked, and his wife Olga, 50, both born in Ukraine, were found with multiple stab wounds by their 20-year-old daughter Polina.
The immediate media report claimed the woman took her own life in a fit of jealousy after Palant said he was leaving her.
However, this was strongly disputed by the couple’s best friend.
Former Kremlin official and Gazprombank deputy chairman Vladislav Avayev, 51, apparently took his own life after killing his wife and one of their daughters in April.
Russian gas tycoon Sergey Protosenya (pictured), his wife Natalya, 53, and their teenage daughter Maria were found dead in their Spanish mansion in Lloret de Mar on April 19.
Ukrainian billionaire Yevgeny Palant, 47, and his wife Olga Palant, 50, were found stabbed to death at their family’s home in the Moscow region last week.