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Russian oligarch randomly dies and toad poison is involved, report says

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and President Vladimir Putin (Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/Released)
May 09, 2022

A Russian billionaire who formerly managed Russia’s second-largest oil company is reportedly dead after he performed a hangover remedy involving toad poison.

Russian Telegram channel Mash first reported Sunday that Alexander Subbotin died in Mytishchi after undergoing an “anti-hangover session with shamans” with whom he was friends.

The channel described that the treatment entailed making an incision on Subbotin’s skin and applying toad poison there. A brief period of vomiting ensued and Subbotin allegedly got better, Mash said, adding “they also called spirits, sacrificed animals and bathed the lost in cock’s blood.”

Subbotin apparently returned to the shaman feeling unwell, and was given Corvalol – an herbal sedative – and rest in the shaman’s basement where he eventually died, according to Mash.

An investigation into Subbotin’s death is reportedly underway.

Subbotin formerly headed Lukoil, Russia’s second-largest oil company, and who publicly called for Russia to end its war in Ukraine.

He is the sixth Russian oligarch to die under mysterious circumstances since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the war on Ukraine some 10 weeks ago.

Former executive of Russian energy conglomerate Novatek, Sergey Protosenya, was found dead by hanging and his wife and daughter were found dead by stabbing in April while vacationing in Spain, Newsweek reported. A day earlier, Vladislav Avaev, former vice president of Russia’s third-largest bank Gazprombank, was found dead alongside his wife and daughter from gunshot wounds at his apartment in Moscow.

In March, Russian billionaire Vasily Melnikov tied to medical firm MedStom was found dead along with his wife and two sons—all from stab wounds.

In February, Russian oil and gas tycoon Mikhail Watford – born Mikhail Tolstosheya – was found dead by hanging at his home. Just days earlier, Gazprom director Alexander Tyulyakov was also found dead by hanging in a home in St. Petersburg.

All of the mysterious deaths were reported as suicides or murder-suicides, though in some of the cases, neighbors doubt the theory.

Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, another Russian oligarch was found dead by hanging. Leonid Shulman, manager of Russian energy corporation Gazprom, was found dead in a cottage near Leningrad along with a suicide note.

Swedish economist and “Russia’s Crony Capitalism” author Anders Aslund told The New York Post the string of mysterious deaths “looks like Kremlin murders to me.”

Aslund said Russian sources told him the names of Russian energy executives were compiled into lists by Russian intelligence in late 2021 and in March 2022 as the Kremlin suspected someone from the industry was leaking financing details of Russian foreign intelligence’s secret operations.

“The list was presented to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin by the FSB [the Federal Security Service] and Putin approved the liquidation of everyone on the list without even looking at it,” Aslund told The New York Post. “Putin finances a lot of his operations through Gazprom and Gazprombank, and the executives who work there know all about this secret financing. The gas sector is the most corrupt sector in Russia.”