September 2022 — Ravil Maganov’s fatal fall from a hospital window

Ravil Maganov, chairman of Russian oil giant Lukoil, died when he fell from the sixth-floor window of a Moscow hospital. Police suspect he committed suicide, saying that he was diagnosed with depression on top of his heart problems. Lukoil was the first major Russian company to call for an end to the war in Ukraine.

August 2020 — Alexei Navalny’s poison-laced underwear

One of Putin’s fiercest critics Alexei Navalny collapsed on a domestic flight from Tomsk to Moscow and fell into a coma. After the plane made an emergency landing in Omsk, Siberia, Navalny received immediate medical treatment.

He was then transferred to the Charite hospital in the German capital Berlin, which found that he had been poisoned with Novichok, a chemical nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union.

After recovering, Navalny released the recording of a phone conversation, in which a suspected agent from Russia’s domestic intelligence service FSB, admitted to the attack. In the recording, which was uploaded to YouTube, the man said that the poison had been applied to the inside of Navalny’s underwear. Russia dismissed the recorded conversation as fake.

August 2019 — Zelimkhan Khangoshvili shot dead in central Berlin
Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian national and ethnic Chechen, who had once fought against Russia in the Second Chechen War, was shot dead in broad daylight with three bullets to the head and back in Berlin’s Tiergarten park. The killer, Russian intelligence agent Vadim Krasikov, was arrested at the scene and sentenced to life imprisonment two years later.

September 2018 — Pyotr Verzilov showed symptoms of poisoning

Artist and Pussy Riot activist Pyotr Verzilov reported problems with his vision and speech and was unable to walk after a court appearance in Moscow. He had run onto the football pitch during the 2018 World Cup final in Moscow to draw attention to police brutality. Verzilov was also transferred to Berlin’s Charite hospital for treatment. Doctors presumed he had been poisoned.

March 2018 — Sergei Skripal’s poison-smeared door handle

Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a park bench in the British town of Salisbury, the victims of a Novichok attack. While both survived, British national Dawn Sturgess, who had also come into contact with the nerve agent, died. British police believe the poison was spread on Sergei Skripal’s door handle.

February 2015 — Boris Nemtsov shot dead near Kremlin

The former Russian deputy prime minister and prominent Putin critic, Boris Nemtsov, was killed as he was crossing a bridge over the Moskva River near the Kremlin. He was returning home with his girlfriend when a car stopped behind him; four bullets were fired at his back and head.
Just three hours earlier, Nemtsov had lambasted Putin during a radio broadcast. In 2017, three Chechens were sentenced to long prison terms for his killing. To this day, who ordered the assassination and the motive remain unknown.

July 2009 — Natalya Estemirova found dead in a ditch

The body of Natalya Estemirova, a historian and board member of Russian human rights organization Memorial, was found in a ditch in Ingushetia hours after she had been kidnapped outside her home in the Chechen capital Grozny. She had been shot in the head and chest.

Estemirova had accused Russian security forces and the notorious death squads of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a Putin loyalist, of kidnappings and human rights violations. The investigation into the murder proved inconclusive.

November 2006 — Alexander Litvinenko’s poisoned tea

Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian secret service agent who defected and became a Putin critic, died an agonizing death in London after being poisoned with the radioactive substance polonium-210.

His tell-all book “Blowing Up Russia” accused the Russian secret service of having organised explosions in apartment buildings in Russia in 1999 and other terrorist attacks in the country to justify the war in Chechnya and bring Vladimir Putin to power. Litvinenko’s tea is said to have been laced with polonium-210 at a London hotel bar. Nobody was ever held accountable for the murder.

October 2006 — Anna Politkovskaya murdered in an elevator

Anna Politkovskaya, a dissident and investigative journalist who worked for the Russian Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was shot dead with five bullets to her chest and head in the elevator of her building. The murder took place on Putin’s birthday.

In 2004, Politkovskaya who had reported on the war in Chechnya and exposed war crimes committed by Russian forces, had survived a suspected poisoning on a domestic flight. Five people suspected of being involved in her murder received long prison sentences, yet those who pulled the strings remain at large.

July 2003 — Yuri Shchekochikhin’s gruesome death

Novaya Gazeta journalist Yuri Shchekochikhin, who in the late 1990s served as a Russian opposition lawmaker fighting corruption and organised crime, died a gruesome, drawn-out death from a suspected poisoning. His skin peeled off his body and, one by one, his organs gave out.

The Russian authorities refused to perform an autopsy on his body, and his medical records disappeared. A skin sample later analysed in London found traces of thallium, a toxic heavy metal that used to be used by the Soviet secret service, the KGB.

April 2003 — Sergei Yushenkov shot outside his Moscow home

Sergei Yushenkov, a co-chair of the Liberal Russia party and lawmaker in the State Duma , took several fatal shots to the chest outside his Moscow home. The murder was never solved.

Yushenkov was a member of the State Duma’s Intelligence Committee and one of the harshest critics of the Chechen war and the KGB’s successor organisation, the FSB.


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