The son of the oil executive of “the only man Vladimir Putin trusts” has reportedly died after “complaining that he was suffocating” in an elite village near Moscow.
The death of the secretive Ivan Sechin, 35, heir to wealthy Igor Sechin, the powerful boss 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 of them 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 aging circle are set to gain new political and business power with major personnel changes after the autocrat wins next month’s presidential election.
A source told the VChK-OGPU Telegram channel, which has close contacts with law enforcement, that Sechin junior, who also worked for Rosneft and was sanctioned by Britain and other Western countries, died on February 5 from ” a dislodged 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 notarial publication confirming Ivan’s death was widely shared by several former Russian oligarchs who fled their homeland to escape Putin’s wrath.
Russian oil executive Ivan Sechin, 35, son of Igor Sechin, 63, head of Rosneft and one of Vladimir Putin’s closest cronies, has died under 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.
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 he has led efforts to break sanctions.
His son was very secretive and used the pseudonym Evgeny Anatolyevich Panin, possibly to hide his wealth or for security reasons.
The VChK-OGPU channel claimed that Igor Sechin prevented the Russian Investigative Committee, the FSB and other security forces from examining the circumstances of his son’s death.
Instead, he deployed the Rosneft Security Service, made up of “former FSB and Investigative Committee employees personally loyal to Sechin.”
When Putin awarded Ivan the Order for Service to the Fatherland at the tender age of 26, Navalny called it a “mockery,” highlighting nepotism in the dictator’s regime.
Navalny said: “What could a useless and durable 25-year-old, who has been working since March 2014 (less than a year) in his father’s business, offer?”
Virtually all of Ivan Sechin’s photographs have been deleted and only one appears to be his.
He is believed to have been in good health and died at his mansion in the elite Europe-1 village in Krasnogorsk.
Bloomberg previously identified the address as “a home for associates of President Putin.”
The Telegram channel said: ‘At approximately 4:30 a.m. on February 5, Ivan, 35, complained that he felt unwell and was suffocating. The man fell onto the bed and lost consciousness.
“Those around him took Ivan to the ground and tried to provide him with primary resuscitation measures. At the same time, Ivan Sechin’s guard called an ambulance.
“When the ambulance arrived at the scene, the doctors could only confirm Iván’s death.”
He was buried three days later.
Before his death, Ivan worked as an executive on offshore projects and accompanied his father on trips abroad.
A graduate of Moscow State University, he previously worked as an analyst at Gazprombank, near the Kremlin, before joining his father at Rosneft.
When Navalny criticized the award given to Ivan by Putin “for his great contribution to the development of the fuel and energy complex and many years of conscientious work,” Rosneft responded that he was a “grown man” worthy of an honor even though he had only 26 years.
Head of Rosneft and close friend of Putin, Igor Sechin, 63 years old.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Russian CEO of oil company Rosneft, Igor Sechin, right, visit the ‘Zvezda’ shipbuilding complex in Bolshoy Kamen Bay in the Far Eastern region from Primorsky Krai, Russia, on Monday, September 11, 2023.
Although the Sechin family is forced to hide their pain, Rosneft continues to make profits.
Russia’s largest oil producer on Monday reported a 47.2% rise in net profits in 2023 to 1.3 trillion rubles ($14.07 billion) and said it was working to increase its gas production capacity. against external restrictions on oil.
The West has imposed sweeping sanctions against Russia’s energy exports, seeking to deprive the Kremlin of crucial oil and gas revenues after Moscow sent its military to Ukraine in February 2022.
Rosneft said its crude oil and gas condensate production amounted to 193.6 million tonnes in 2023, without offering a comparison with 2022.
Total hydrocarbon production last year amounted to 269.8 million tons, including 92.7 billion cubic meters of gas.
“As a result of strict cost control and work to improve efficiency, the unit cost of hydrocarbon production at the end of 2023 decreased to $2.6/boe,” Igor Sechin said in a statement.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased 17.8% to 3.0 trillion rubles, while revenue increased 1.3% to 9.2 trillion rubles.
Sechin leveled thinly veiled criticism at the Russian central bank in a statement, having previously criticized the bank in late 2023 when successive rate hikes pushed the cost of borrowing to current levels of 16%.
“Due to rising interest rates starting in the second half of the year, the company focused its attention on reducing its overall debt load,” Sechin said.
“Interest expenses increased due to, among other things, increases in the Bank of Russia’s key rate and further increases in banks’ interest margins, resulting in the growth of banking sector profits in 2023 to record levels,” Sechin said.