Two former executives of major Russian gas companies have been found dead within two days in mysterious circumstances, according to multiple reports.
Sergei Protosenya, former chief accountant of Russian gas giant Novatek, is the latest to be found dead, Spanish news site Telecino reports.
The 55-year-old millionaire was found dead with his wife and daughter in a villa in the town of Lloret de Mar near Barcelona earlier this week, police sources told the news site. However, the police have not officially named the family.
Protosenya, a former Novatek board member, was found hanged at the scene, while his wife and daughter were stabbed, according to the report. Investigators would look at two different scenarios: that Protosenya killed his wife and daughter before committing suicide, or that all three were murdered by someone who then staged the crime scene.
The family was visiting Spain during the Easter holidays. Protosenya was worth around 400 million euros.
His death reportedly took place on April 19, just a day after a former vice president of Russian bank Gazprom was found dead along with his wife and daughter in similar circumstances in Moscow.
Vladislav Avayev, 51, was found with fatal gunshot wounds in his multimillion-dollar apartment on Universitetsky Prospekt on April 18, local authorities said. His wife’s body was found nearby, while the couple’s 13-year-old daughter was found in her bed in another room, according to Kommersant.
Investigators said they had reached a preliminary conclusion that Avayev likely killed his wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself, as there was no sign anyone else had. been in the apartment and the gun was found in Avayev’s hand.
Local reports, citing neighbors, provided a host of different theories about what happened, with some suggesting that Avayev and his wife did not get along, others blaming the sanctions and others claiming that any the family had probably been murdered.
Oddly, the deaths of Avayev and Protosenya are just the latest of those linked to Russia’s gas industry. On February 25, just a day after Russia launched its all-out war on Ukraine, 61-year-old Gazprom executive Alexander Tyulyakov was found hanged outside St Petersburg.
He had been Deputy Director General of Gazprom’s Unified Settlement Center, or Treasury, for Corporate Security. Although his death was ruled a suicide, Novaya Gazeta reported at the time that Gazprom’s security service arrived at the scene and expelled local investigators.
In perhaps another blow to Russia’s oil and gas industry, oligarch Vagit Alekperov, one of Putin’s key allies, resigned on Thursday as chairman of Lukoil, the country’s second-largest oil company. country.
The move comes after UK and EU sanctions were imposed on him which prevent him from entering Europe or Britain. Incidentally, however, his resignation also comes after Lukoil’s board called for the “immediate cessation of armed conflict” in Ukraine early last month.