Ravil Maganov: The Putin oil boss dead after opposing Ukraine war

Putin issued eerie ultimatum as Ukraine shows off military might

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Mr Maganov died on Thursday morning after tumbling out of a sixth-floor window at Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital. The 67-year-old chair was chair of the board and vice president of Russia’s second-largest oil producer Lukoil. Law enforcement officials attended the scene, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency, although the circumstances of the businessman’s death remain unclear.

The state-run news agency TASS reported the oil boss’s death as a suicide and that he was taking antidepressants.

But Reuters spoke to two people close to Mr Maganov, who said it was highly unlikely that he took his own life.

Another report by Russian site Baza, which has links with the police, reported that he may have slipped from the window while smoking and that a packet of cigarettes was found nearby, although CCTV was unavailable as it had been turned off for maintenance.

A statement from Lukoil said Mr Maganov had “passed away following a severe illness”.

Express.co.uk looks at the life of the oil boss, who was awarded a medal by Putin but who opposed his war in Ukraine.

Mr Maganov was born on September 25, 1954 in the Russian city of Almetyevsk in the Republic of Tatarstan.

In 1977, he graduated from the Moscow Institute of Petrochemical and Gas Industry.

A few years later, Mr Maganov worked at energy firm Langepasneftegaz, which was later absorbed into Lukoil.

In 1993 he started working for Lukoil, where he was in charge of refining, production and exploration operations.

After joining Russia’s biggest private company shortly after it was founded, he was made chairman in 2020.

Mr Maganov’s “managerial talent” was credited with transforming Lukoil from a small firm into a world-leading oil producer.

The oil boss was a member of Russia’s influential business elite and rubbed shoulders with government officials.

In recent years he had been a regular at Russian Energy Ministry meetings, offering his thoughts on oil production levels before the OPEC+ nations met.

His talents also saw him get to know Putin, who gave him his recognition in November 2019.

The Russian leader awarded him the Order of Alexander Nevsky for public work achievements, his charitable endeavours and long service.

A picture of the ceremony shows Putin smiling as the pair stand next to one another.

However, as chairman of Lukoil, Mr Maganov broke ranks with Putin as the company’s board hit out at the Kremlin strongman’s war in Ukraine.

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Lukoil was the only Russian oil producer to call for an end to the conflict in early March, soon after Putin invaded.

It spoke of the need for the “soonest termination of the armed conflict” and expressed its “sincere empathy for all victims”.

Its statement added: “We strongly support a lasting ceasefire and a settlement of problems through serious negotiations and diplomacy.”

Some commentators have pointed out how Mr Maganov is the sixth high-ranking figure in Russia’s energy sector to die in unexplained circumstances since the war began.

Top British prosecutor Nazir Afzal appeared to refer to this reality in a Twitter post on Thursday.

He wrote: “Ravil Maganov, head of Russian oil producer Lukoil, one of the few that criticised Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, has died after ‘falling from a window in a hospital in Moscow’.

“Observers of such matters know that faulty windows are extremely common in the vicinity of Putin critics.”

Mr Maganov was known to be close to one of Lukoil’s founders, Vagit Alekperov, a former Soviet oil official.

Mr Alekperov announced his resignation from the company in April after he was sanctioned by the UK over the war.

Another Lukoil former top boss, Alexander Subbotin, died in mysterious circumstances in May in the Russian city of Mytishchi.

He was found dead in his home after allegedly being given toad poison by a shaman and after voodoo rituals had taken place at the property, according to Newsweek.

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