Russia: Putin’s ‘child prodigy’ dead – Another high-ranking energy market official

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Many high-ranking Russian officials linked to Gazprom have died under suspicious circumstances in recent months, sometimes by falling from windows, sometimes by drowning at sea or by suicide.

A 47-year-old Russian politician, Mr Nikolai Petrounin – a former gas industry executive – becomes the latest on a “blacklist” of energy officials who have died since the invasion of Ukraine.

Petrounin reportedly died on Wednesday of complications from Covid while in a coma for a month, although his cause of death has not been confirmed.

The multi-millionaire was a top gas industry executive who became a staunch Putin MP and was described as “whiz kid”.

Many high-ranking Russian officials linked to Gazprom have died under suspicious circumstances in recent months, sometimes by falling from windows, sometimes by drowning at sea or by suicide, the Daily Mail comments.

Nikolai Petrounin

However, critics fear that Putin’s shadowy FSB (Federal Security Service – formerly KGB) may be behind the killings, with the Russian leader repeatedly accused of ordered the death of dissidentswhich he himself has denied.

Petrounin, a multi-millionaire father of three, was a former top executive in the natural gas industry who became deputy chairman of the Russian parliament’s powerful energy committee.

His businesses built natural gas pipelines for major Russian energy operators and he had ties to the Kremlin’s natural gas behemoth, Gazprom and Rosneft.

He declared an annual salary of up to 2 million euros, was a member of parliament in the Tula region since 2016 and was married to Albina Petrounina, a former police officer with the rank of major.

Petrunin

The condolences of the State Duma

“After a serious illness, State Duma deputy Nikolai Yuryevich Petrounin died.

“Since 2016, Nikolai Yuryevich represented the Tula Region in the State Duma and was the first vice-chairman of the Energy Committee.

“The Speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin expressed his condolences to the family and friends of Nikolai Petrounin: ‘Nikolai Yuryevich was a professional and responsible person, respected by his colleagues and trusted by voters. I express my deepest condolences to the family and Nikolai Yuryevich’s friends. Bright memory'”.

Petrounin

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