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Ravil Maganov, boss of oil giant Lukoil, is the latest high-profile critic of Russian leader Vladimir Putin to have died from a mysterious fall from a window.

It’s a fate that is all too common for critics of Putin’s regime.

The official report says that Maganov, who had issued a statement opposing the war on Ukraine, “fell from a window at Central clinical hospital” where he was being treated for a mysterious “severe illness” that has not been specified.

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According to Russian Telegram channel General SVR, which frequently posts nuggets of gossip from inside the Kremlin, Maganov was “beaten' before he was 'thrown out of a window’.

Putin critic Dan Rapoport, a prominent critic of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, was found dead outside an apartment building in Washington DC in August this year, just weeks after he mocked Russia's nuclear capabilities and said Putin’s army was becoming “weaker every day”.

Bill Browder, an American financier who was formerly based in Moscow, said the circumstances of Rapoport’s death were “extremely suspicious”.

In an eerie coincidence, Rapoport’s former business partner, Sergei Tkachenko, fell to his death from a Moscow apartment building in 2017.

In December, Yegor Prosvirnin fell from a Moscow building. The founder of new website Sputnik reportedly threw a knife and a gas canister out of the window before apparently leaping to his death.

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Prosvirnin's neighbours told BBC Russia that screams and swearing had been heard from his apartment all that day.

While Prosvirnin had initially supported Putin’s empire-building, shortly before his death he had begun to predict social unrest in Russia.

Just a couple of months before Prosvirnin’s death, Russian diplomat Kirill Zhalo was found dead outside the Russian embassy in Berlin.

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While Zhalo appeared to have fallen to his death from an upper floor of the building, no official cause of death was established because the embassy refused an autopsy and German prosecutors have no jurisdiction because of Zhalo's diplomatic status.

Zhalo was the son of prominent FSB officer Lieutenant General Alexei Zhalo, who has been linked to the poisonings of numerous Putin opponents, including Alexei Navalny.

Kirill Zhalo Jr was officially listed as a member of embassy staff, but German security services suspect he was actually an FSB spy.

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The Covid-19 pandemic saw a number of Russian healthcare experts fall from hospital windows, and in December 2020, Alexander "Sasha" Kagansky, a top Russian scientist involved in vaccine research, died after falling from his high-rise apartment in St. Petersburg.

His body was found to have a stab wound along with multiple injuries from his fall.

Dozens of other exiled Russians who were critical of the Putin regime have died mysteriously over the past few years.

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Some of them, such as Nikolai Glushkov, were killed by unknown assailants that are believed to be connected to Russian intelligence.

Others have been recorded as suicides, even though the dead men showed no signs of depression or other triggers.

Russia expert David Satter, who in 2013 became the first American reporter thrown out of Moscow since the Cold War, says “There’s an old saying that anyone can commit a murder but it takes brains to commit a suicide."


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