Energy executive falls from boat in latest mysterious Russian death

Ivan Pechorin had attended the Eastern Economic Forum – which was hosted by President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok – just days earlier.

 A firefighter sits on the roof of a vehicle as a Russian flag flies outside the burning shopping mall Galaktika following recent shelling in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in Donetsk, Ukraine, August 24, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO)
A firefighter sits on the roof of a vehicle as a Russian flag flies outside the burning shopping mall Galaktika following recent shelling in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in Donetsk, Ukraine, August 24, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO)

Russian energy executive Ivan Pechorin, 39, was pronounced dead on Saturday after falling overboard while sailing off the coast of Russky Island in the Sea of Japan, Russian media reported. 

The Managing Director of the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation (ERDC), Pechorin had attended just days earlier the Eastern Economic Forum – which was hosted by President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok. His body was recovered from the water on Monday following an extended search.

“Ivan’s death is an irreparable loss for friends and colleagues, a great loss for the corporation,” ERDC said in a statement posted on its website.

The latest in a string of mysterious deaths

Pechorin is the latest Russian energy executive to be pronounced dead under unclear circumstances

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia (credit: MAXIM SHEMETOV/REUTERS)Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia (credit: MAXIM SHEMETOV/REUTERS)

While the Kremlin’s attempted assassinations of political opponents that are made to look natural have been well-documented – such as the poisoning of Putin critic Alexei Navalny in 2020 – executives from state-owned energy conglomerates, such as Gazprom and Lukoil, have also suffered strange, unexpected deaths since the onset of the Russia-Ukraine War in February.

On September 1, Ravil Maganov, 67, vice president of the Russian oil company Lukoil, died in a suspected fall from the window of a Moscow hospital – the same hospital where Vladimir Putin paid his final respects to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who died on August 30.

Last month, Latvian-American businessman and renowned Putin critic Dan K. Rapoport is said to have jumped to his death from his Washington apartment window. Capital police do not currently suspect foul play, although Rapoport’s widow, Alena Rapoport, cast doubts on reports that her husband’s death was self-inflicted. “There were no suicide notes, no suicide, no trip to London, no breakup,” she said.

On February  25 – the day after the invasion of Ukraine – former Gazprom executive Alexander Tyulyakov, 61, was found dead by hanging in his home near St. Petersburg. Ukrainian-born oil tycoon Mikhail Watford was found hanged in his home in England three days later; In March, billionaire Vasily Melnikov of the Russian medical supply company MedStom was found dead in his apartment in Kirovsk.