Oligarchs Deaths

Russian Railway Executive Pavel Pchelnikov Found Shot to Death on 28 Sept 2022

Pavel Pchelnikov [ Павел Пчельников ] , the head of communications at Russian Railways subsidiary Digital Logistics, was found dead on his balcony by gunshot wound in the green Kolomenskaya Embankment neighbourhood of Moscow on Wednesday morning 28 September 2022. The reported cause of death is suicide.

Pavel Pchelnikov worked as a communications director at a company called Tsifrovaja logistika , or Digital Logistics . The company specializes in cargo transportation 

Pavel Pchelnikov, Russian Railways Director, Found Shot Dead on Balcony

The body of 52-year-old Pavel Pchelnikov was discovered at 6.30 in his apartment on Kolomenskaya Embankment. The body was on the balcony. The nature of the injuries suggested that Pavel Pchelnikov committed suicide. Pavel Pchelnikov served as director of communications for Digital Logistics LLC (specialization: freight transportation).

Pavel Pchelnikov had boasted about being ‘the most experienced PR manager in Russian Railways company ” a few days ago was on vacation, from which he posted smiling photos with his family on social media. Pavel Pchelnikov was enjoying his vacation and sharing funny photos. What prompted the man to take a desperate step remains a mystery.

Pavel Pchelnikov On Vacation
Pavel Pchelnikov On Vacation

Russian Railways: Kremlin Demands Answers Over Ukrainian Hackers

According to the report, Russian officials accused Pavel Pchelnikov of failing to protect the infrastructure of Russia’s rail network from hackers located in Ukraine, leading to delays in delivering critical supplies to Russian forces.

It all started on January 14 (20220 when the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Ministry of Education and Science, and the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food were subjected to a massive cyber attack. Hackers posted messages in which they promised to destroy the personal data of Ukrainians posted on the Internet.

Again on on February 15, the Information Security Center of Ukraine reported a major DDoS attack on the websites of the Ministry of Defense, the country’s Armed Forces, Privatbank and Oschadbank. The department admitted that Russia could allegedly be behind the attack. No evidence was provided.

As a result of these attacks ,the Russian Railways website has suffered serious cyber attacks on 26 Feburary 2022. 

RZD, the Russian Railways operator, confirmed the DDoS attack and said that it had taken steps to mitigate the impact, including increasing the number of ticket offices at railway stations so that passengers could still purchase tickets.

in Jan 2022, a cyberattack on the Belarusian state railway crippled its network and hindered the transfer of Russian troops into Belarus for military exercises.The Belarusian hacktivist collective Cyber Partisans claimed responsibility for that attack and said that it had compromised the railway system’s routing and switching devices by encrypting data stored on them.

Russian Railways has reportedly come under pressure from the Kremlin recently over its failure to stop Ukrainian hackers from shutting down its network. This has led to critical delays in supplies reaching the war front line. Kremlin held Pavel Pchelnikov resposible for these failures.

The Kremlin , Moscow
The Kremlin , Moscow

Sanctions Against Russian Railways: A Timeline

The EU sanctioned Russian Railways (RZD) on February 27, 2022. The sanctions restricted the company’s financial and investment activities. The EU’s “Second Package” of measures were announced days before the sanctions.

The company was slapped with EU sanctions on February 27 in the early days of the war. 

On April 11 2022, the firm defaulted on a bond interest payment, the first sanctioned business to do so.

In July 2022, the firm publicly called on the EU to lift the sanctions, claiming they were “limiting the ability of RDZ to perform socially significant, humanitarian functions and are discriminatory in relation to the population of the Russian Federation.”

The company also criticized the war in Ukraine after the firm’s website crashed following Putin’s mobilisation announcement, as thousands tried to flee the draft abroad.

The company was forced to issue a statement denying state media reports that men of fighting age must show their military service status before buying tickets.

Anatoly Gerashchenko Death: Separating Facts from Fiction in Media Reports

Some of Russia’s wealthiest and most influential businessmen have gone missing and later been found dead over the past year. They share the mystery that comes with each passing: many have accidentally fallen to their deaths down flights of stairs; others drowned after voicing fears someone was following them; some have reported feeling ill, shortly after falling and fatally hitting their head.

The phenomenon is being described by some as Sudden Russian Death Syndrome, a play on Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS), a proxy cause of death that is attributed to those who die from unidentifiable complications. There are now whispers that there is more to these deaths. Pavel Pchelnikov is also said to be a victim of Sudden Russian Death Syndrome.

Sudden Russian Death Syndrome (SADS)

The trend of senior executives and those who have spoken out against Russian president Vladimir Putin, dying in strange circumstances, has been dubbed ‘Sudden Russian Death Syndrome‘.

There is also an argument that some of the deaths of Russian oligarchs may be due to natural causes, such as old age or health complications, or they may be accidents or suicides. However, it is worth noting that Russia has a high suicide rate, and it is possible that the war-induced sanctions have made this problem worse.

Russia has a long history of unexplained deaths of prominent people, and in recent years, Putin and the Kremlin have increasingly cracked down on political opponents such as Alexei Navalny.

In recent months, a number of high-profile figures, including military personnel, weapons suppliers, government officials, transportation executives, and media personalities, have died.

How many Russian Oligarchs have Died in 2022 ( Till Sept 2022) ?

Leonid Shulman

Leonid Shulman , a top executive for the Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom, was found dead of a reported suicide in a cottage in the village of Leninsky on Jan. 30 , 2022

Igor Nosov

The CEO of the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, Igor Nosov, died on 8 Feb 2022.

Alexander Tyulakov 

Alexander Tyulakov , another top executive for Gazprom, was found dead on 25 February 2022 in a garage.

Mikhail Watford 

Ukraine-born oligarch Mikhail Watford was found dead on 28 February 2022 , three days after Tyulakov at his home in England.

Vasily Melnikov

On March 24 ,2022, Russian media reported that billionaire Vasily Melnikov, who owned the medical supply company MedStom , his wife, and their two sons were found dead in their luxury apartment in Nizhny Novgorod. They had all been stabbed, and the murder weapons Knifes were found at the scene.

Vladislav Avayev 

Vladislav Avayev, the former vice president of Gazprombank, one of the largest banks in Russia, which has ties to the energy industry, was found dead in his apartment in Moscow along with his wife and daughter on April 18. 

Sergey Protosenya 

Sergei Protosenya, a former deputy chairman of Novatek, a Russian natural gas firm, was found hanged while his wife and daughter were found stabbed to death at a villa in Spain on 19 April 2022.

Andrei Krukovsky

Andrei Krukovsky, the director of the Gazprom-owned Krasnaya Polyana ski resort, mysteriously fell off a cliff while hiking and died in May 2022.

Alexander Subbotin 

Former top Lukoil executive Alexander Subbotin was found dead in 8 May 2022 in the basement of a house near Moscow.

Yuri Voronov

Yuri Voronov, a 61-year-old Russian business executive having ties with Gazprom was found dead in his swimming pool with a gunshot wound to the head in Leningrad region at around 2 p.m on 4 July 2022.

Dan Rapoport

Dan Rapoport, a Latvia-born American businessman was found dead in front of a luxury apartment building by the D.C. Metro Police Department on 14 August 2022 .

Ravil Maganov

The chairman of the board of Russia’s largest private oil company LUKoil Ravil Maganov, 67, died on 1 Sept 2022 after falling from from the sixth-floor window of the Moscow ‘s Central Clinical Hospital. The hospital is also known as the Kremlin Clinic for its treatment of patients from Russia’s political and business elite. Ravil was reportedly hospitalized for heart problems and depression.

Ivan Pechorin

Ivan Pechorin ,managing director of the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation,  died on Sept 10 ,2022 , after he fell from his boat in the waters off Russky Island near Cape Ignatiev in the Sea of Japan.

Vladimir Sungorkin

Komsomolskaya Pravda editor-in-chief Vladimir Sungorkin, a prominent figure in the Russian media landscape, has died in mysterious circumstances on a business trip on 14 Sept 2022. 

Anatoly Gerashchenko

Russian aviation expert Anatoly Gerashchenko, who worked as the head of the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI), has died after falling down the stairs. Gerashchenko is said to have slipped and tumbled down the stairs to his death.

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