Deaths of 2 more Russian gas oligarchs within 48 hours adding to wave of executives found dead in ‘suspicious’ circumstances in four months, has observers believing spate of apparent suicides to be suspicious
Russian oligarch Sergey Protosenya is accused of butchering his wife and teenage daughter before hanging himself in the garden of his luxury Spanish holiday home was murdered, says his son
Sergey Protosenya, 55, on April 19, was found hanged in garden of his Spanish holiday home where his wife Natalya, 53, and daughter Maria, 18, were discovered hacked to death with an axe
Spanish authorities suggest Protesenya killed his wife and daughter, before killing himself
College student Fedor Protosenya has said his father, the former deputy chairman of major Russian gas firm Novotek, Sergey Protosenya, could never harm’ his wife and daughter
Fedor, 22, who survived because he was spending Easter in Bordeaux, France, has suggested all three members of his family were murdered
48 hours earlier, another Novotek executive, a former Kremlin official and ex-Gazprombank vice-president, Vladislav Avayev, was found in his elite Moscow penthouse, by his 26-year-old daughter
Multi-millionaire Vladislav Avayev, 51, apparently shot pregnant wife Yelena, 47, and daughter, Maria, 13, before turning the gun on himself has claimed his father ‘could never’ harm his wife and daughter
In Jan and Feb respectively, two other oligarchs, senior Gazprom executives Alexander Tyulyakov and Leonid Shulman were found dead from apparent suicides in their luxury apts. in an elite housing development near St Petersburg
The Russian oligarch accused of hacking his wife and teenage daughter to death with an ax, before committing suicide was murdered, his son claimed today.
Multi-millionaire former gas executive Sergey Protosenya was found hanged in the garden of his luxury Spanish holiday home and the bodies of his wife Natalya and his 18-year-old daughter Maria were discovered hacked to death with an axe inside.
Spanish authorities have suggested that Protosenya, 55, executed the pair before killing himself in an uncharacteristic fit of rage while the family enjoyed an Easter break on the Costa Brava last week.
Fedor Protosenya, 22, has claimed his father, who had been deputy chairman of major Russian gas firm Novotek, ‘could never harm’ his wife and daughter and suggested all three members of his family were murdered.
‘My father is not a killer,’ the younger Protosenya said.
Catalan Police went to villa and found Mr Protosenya hanged in the courtyard and the mutilated bodies of his wife Natalia, 53, and Maria inside.
Regional police chief, Commissioner Josep Milan stated that evidence suggested the deaths were the result of a double murder and suicide with Protosenya as the killer.
He said: ‘The investigators are focusing on a person who has committed suicide and two people who were killed at home, this is what we are looking at.’
The violent deaths have sent shock-waves through the tight-knit Russian community in the resort of Lloret de Mar, on Spain’s Costa Brava, where Mr Protosenya had bought a family holiday home some ten years ago.
Businessman Anatoly Timoshenko, a close friend of the Russian oligarch believes that: ‘Sergey did not do it. Sergey did not kill his family. It is impossible. I do not want to discuss what may have happened at the house that night but I know that Sergey is not a killer.’
Another friend Roman Yuravich added: ‘Sergey did not kill his family. I have known him for ten years. He was a happy man. He loved his family. He did not kill his wife and child. I am sure.’
The oligarch’s death is the fourth such mysterious passing of Russian gas firm executives and their families linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
Just days earlier the body of Vladislav Avayev was found in his elite Moscow penthouse alongside his wife Yelena and 13-year-old daughter Maria in another apparent murder-suicide.
Avayev, 51, was previously president of Gazprombank, a bank created to work for Russian gas giant Gazprom, and had also been a Kremlin official.
The former Kremlin official and bank VP was found dead in his upmarket $2.52 million Moscow apartment by his 26-year-old daughter, police have said.
Alongside the body of multimillionaire, was his ‘pregnant’ wife Yelena, 47, and younger daughter Maria, 13. The bodies – all with gunshot wounds – were found by the couple’s distraught adult daughter Anastasia, when she opened the apartment after failing to reach her family. Many theories have been put up for the apparent double homicide-murder, the underlying theme being skepticism.
A female neighbor said: ‘Perhaps this was because of the sanctions – everyone is depressed, some are willing to go to extreme measures.’
She said sanctions and the economic downturn may have hit his business.
‘They possibly put him in debt and he decided to shoot himself,’ she said.
Another female neighbor said: ‘He was a smart man, almost the head of Gazprombank. I had seen him – he did not look like a maniac. He was a nerd.
‘He had no reason to do that. He was rich, smart. There’s no way a man like that could kill. Maybe Avayev and his family were killed.
‘So what does that mean? A man with a gun broke into our house, and no one stopped him? How are we supposed to sleep now?’
The latest deaths come on the heels of the incidents in January and February when the battered and butchered bodies of two senior Gazprom executives Alexander Tyulyakov and Leonid Shulman were found dead in ‘apparent suicides,’ in their luxury apartments in an elite housing development near St Petersburg.
Shulman, head of Gazprom’s Invest transport service, was found with stab wounds to his wrists, while Tyulyakov was found hanged in a garage. Both men were found in a luxurious real estate compound of Leninskoye, near St. Petersburg.
The recent spate of apparent suicides “seem somewhat suspicious,” say some observers.
“In all cases, there are widespread suspicions that the deaths may have been staged as suicides, but who did this and why?” wonders Grzegorz Kuczyński, director of the Poland’s Warsaw Institute’s Eurasia Program. Shulman’s ‘killed himself’ after a probe into his alleged fraud at Gazprom was opened months earlier. Further raising brows, while Gazprom’s security units arrived at the scene with police following Tyulyakov’s death in February, investigation into all four of the deaths is being handled by Gazprom’s security agency.
Protosenya had been deputy chairman at Russian natural gas giant Novatek before retiring with a fortune estimated to be worth over $378 million.
Novatek has cast doubt that it is complicit in the brutal killings. In a statement Novatek said: ‘Sergey Protosenya established himself as an outstanding person and a wonderful family man, a strong professional who made a considerable contribution to the formation and development of the company.
‘Unfortunately, speculations have emerged in the media about this topic, but we are convinced that these speculations bear no relation to reality.’