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13th Sep 2022

Russian energy executive dies after falling off a boat at full speed

Steve Hopkins

There has been a spate of fatalities involving top businessmen with ties to the Kremlin

An energy executive who worked under President Vladimir Putin has reportedly died after falling off a boat, becoming the latest Russian powerbroker to perish under mysterious circumstances.

Ivan Pechorin, managing director of the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation (ERDC), was sailing off the coast of Russky Island in the Sea of Japan, around 5,800 miles east of Moscow, when he fell overboard from the speeding vessel, the New York Post reported.

The 39-year-old’s body was recovered from the water on Monday.

Pechorin worked under Putin, according to the Russian publication Komsomolskaya Pravda, modernising aviation in eastern Russia while developing resources in the Arctic in light of heavy sanctions.

Only days earlier, Pechorin had attended the Eastern Economic Forum, which was hosted by Putin in Valdivostok. It is thought to have been his last public appearance.

The event encourages investment in Russia and was held between 5 and 8 September. Pechorin reportedly spoke at a session titled ‘Everyone has their Own Route: The Logistics of a Changed World’.

A statement posted on the ERDC website reads. “On September 12, 2022, it became known about the tragic death of our colleague, Ivan Pechorin, Managing Director for the Aviation Industry of the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.

“The death of Ivan is an irreparable loss for friends and colleagues, a great loss for the corporation. We offer our sincere condolences to family and friends.”

According to Newsweek, Pechorin worked on “modernising aviation in eastern Russia” and also “developed resources in the Arctic in light of heavy sanctions”.

In February, 43-year-old Igor Nosov, the corporation’s former CEO, reportedly died suddenly from a stroke.

There has been a spate of fatalities involving top businessmen with ties to the Kremlin since the beginning of the year — and each one has been classified either as a suicide or an accident, reports the Daily Mail.

On 1 September, Ravil Maganov, previously the head of Russia’s second-largest oil company, Lukoil, fell to his death from a Moscow hospital. At the time it was alleged he’d also been beaten. Prior to his death, the 67-year-old said he was opposed to the invasion of Ukraine.

Lukoil stated that Maganov passed away after battling a serious illness.

In July, Yuri Voronov, 61, a top executive at the transportation company Astra Shipping, was found shot to death in his swimming pool in a suburb of Saint Petersburg.

And in April, former vice president of Gazprombank, 51-year-old Vladislav Avayev, was discovered shot dead, along with his wife and their 13-year-old daughter, following a suspected murder-suicide.

On the same day as Pechorin’s death, the speed and effectiveness of Ukraine’s counterattack against Russia left people stunned as the country continued to push back invaders.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence said on 10 September that Ukrainian forces appeared to have “advanced up to 50km” into territory held by the Russians.

The MoD also suggested that Putin’s troops were taken by surprise with Ukraine’s counterattack, claiming the areas taken were only lightly defended.

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