News

Sanctioned oil executive son of Putin crony ‘dies after complaining he was suffocating’ in elite Moscow village – the latest mysterious death in Russian energy sector since Ukraine invasion began


The oil executive son of the ‘only man Vladimir Putin trusts’ has reportedly died after ‘after complaining he was suffocating’ in an elite village near Moscow.

The death of secretive Ivan Sechin, 35, heir of wealthy Igor Sechin – the powerful head of oil giant Rosneft and one of the dictator’s closest cronies – was mysteriously covered up for two weeks before being leaked this week.

His is the latest of dozens of mysterious deaths – many in the energy sector – since the start of Putin’s war in Ukraine two years ago.

It comes amid speculation that the sons and daughters of Putin’s ageing circle are poised to gain new political and business power with major personnel changes after the autocrat wins next month’s presidential election.

A source told Telegram channel VChK-OGPU – which has close law enforcement contacts – that Sechin junior, who also worked for Rosneft and was sanctioned by Britain and other Western countries, died on 5 February from ‘a detached blood clot’.

The same cause was given for the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny four days ago, although there are widespread claims that the 47-year-old opposition politician was ‘murdered’ on Putin’s orders.

A notary posting confirming Ivan’s death was widely shared by several former Russian oligarchs who fled their native land to escape Putin’s wrath. 

Russian oil executive Ivan Sechin, 35, the son of Igor Sechin, 63, head of Rosneft and one of Vladimir Putin's closest cronies, has died in mysterious circumstances

Russian oil executive Ivan Sechin, 35, the son of Igor Sechin, 63, head of Rosneft and one of Vladimir Putin’s closest cronies, has died in mysterious circumstances

Ivan Sechin was the son of Igor (right) - a former spy turned oil tycoon who has known Putin (left) for decades and used to work with him in the St Petersburg mayor's office

Ivan Sechin was the son of Igor (right) – a former spy turned oil tycoon who has known Putin (left) for decades and used to work with him in the St Petersburg mayor’s office

Vladimir Putin and Igor Sechin

Vladimir Putin and Igor Sechin

Ivan Sechin was the son of Igor – a former spy who has known Putin for decades and used to work with him in the St Petersburg mayor’s office.

He was once called Putin’s de facto deputy, and in his role at Rosneft has spearheaded sanctions-busting efforts.

His son was highly secretive, and used the pseudonym Evgeny Anatolyevich Panin, possibly to hide his wealth or for security reasons.

Channel VChK-OGPU claimed that Igor Sechin prevented the Russian Investigative Committee, FSB and other security forces from examining the circumstances of his son’s death.

Instead he deployed the Rosneft Security Service, comprising ‘former FSB and Investigative Committee employees personally loyal to Sechin’.

When Ivan was awarded by Putin with the Order for Service to the Fatherland at the tender age of 26, Navalny had branded it a ‘mockery’, highlighting nepotism in the dictator’s regime.

Navalny said: ‘What could a 25-year-old good-for-nothing, working since March 2014 (less than a year) in his daddy’s business, possibly offer that is longstanding and worthy?’

Virtually all pictures of Ivan Sechin have been wiped with only one that is reported to be him.

Believed to be in good health, he died in his mansion in the elite Europe-1 village in Krasnogorsk.

The address was previously identified by Bloomberg as ‘a house for President Putin’s associates’.

The Telegram channel said: ‘At approximately 4.30am on the night of February 5, 35-year-old Ivan complained that he felt bad and was suffocating. The man fell on the bed and lost consciousness.

‘Those around him carried Ivan to the floor and tried to provide primary resuscitation measures. At the same time, Ivan Sechin’s security guard called an ambulance.

‘When the ambulance arrived at the scene, the doctors were only able to ascertain Ivan’s death.’

He was buried three days later. 

Before his death, Ivan worked as an executive on offshore projects and accompanied his father on foreign trips.

A graduate from Moscow State University, he previously worked as an analyst at Kremlin-cosy Gazprombank before joining his father at Rosneft.

When Navalny criticised Ivan’s award by Putin ‘for his great contribution to the development of the fuel and energy complex and many years of conscientious work’, Rosneft replied that he was a ‘grown man’ worthy of an honour even though he was only 26.

Head of Rosneft and close Putin crony Igor Sechin, 63.

Head of Rosneft and close Putin crony Igor Sechin, 63.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Russian CEO of Rosneft oil company Igor Sechin, right, visit "Zvezda" Shipbuilding Complex in the Bay of Bolshoy Kamen, in the far eastern region of Primorsky Krai, Russia, Monday, Sept. 11, 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Russian CEO of Rosneft oil company Igor Sechin, right, visit ‘Zvezda’ Shipbuilding Complex in the Bay of Bolshoy Kamen, in the far eastern region of Primorsky Krai, Russia, Monday, Sept. 11, 2023

Though the Sechin family is forced to hide its grief, Rosneft continues to rake in the profits.

Russia’s largest oil producer on Monday reported a 47.2% jump in 2023 net profit to 1.3 trillion roubles ($14.07 billion) and said it was working to build up its gas production capacity in the face of external restrictions on oil.

The West has imposed sweeping sanctions against Russia’s energy exports, seeking to starve the Kremlin of crucial oil and gas revenues after Moscow despatched its army to Ukraine in February 2022.

Rosneft said its crude oil and gas condensate output totalled 193.6 million tonnes in 2023, without providing a comparison with 2022.

Total hydrocarbon production last year amounted to 269.8 million tonnes, it said, including 92.7 billion cubic metres of gas.

‘As a result of strict cost control and work to improve efficiency, the unit cost of hydrocarbon production at year-end 2023 decreased to $2.6/boe,’ Igor Sechin said in a statement.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 17.8% to 3.0 trillion roubles while revenue edged up 1.3% to 9.2 trillion roubles.

Sechin directed thinly-veiled criticism at the Russian central bank in a statement, having previously criticised the bank in late 2023 as successive rate hikes took the cost of borrowing to current levels of 16%.

‘Due to rising interest rates from the second half of the year, the company focused its attention on reducing its overall debt burden,’ said Sechin.

‘Interest expenses increased due to, among other things, increases in the Bank of Russia’s key rate and further increases of interest margins by banks, which resulted in the growth of banking sector profits in 2023 to record levels,’ Sechin said.



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button