Russian Oligarch Yuri Voronov Found Dead in Swimming Pool

A multi-millionaire businessman was found dead floating in his swimming pool near St. Petersburg in the latest mysterious demise of a member of Russia's elite over the last few months.

The body of Yuri Voronov, 61, was found in his home in the ultra-wealthy Vyborgsky district of the Leningrad region at around 2 p.m. on Monday with a gunshot wound to his head, a pistol nearby and casings at the bottom of the pool, according to 47news.ru.

He is at least the sixth wealthy Russian businessman to die in suspicious circumstances since the start of 2022. Some of them had connections to Gazprom, the state energy monopoly.

Voronov was the founder and general director of the Astra-Shipping transport and logistics company, which was involved in lucrative Gazprom contracts in the Arctic.

 Russia's energy giant Gazprom logo
This picture shows the logo of Russia's energy giant Gazprom. Yuri Voronov, a businessman with links to the company, was found dead, the latest Russian executive to die in mysterious circumstances. OLGA MALTSEVA/Getty Images

Russia's investigative committee, which Newsweek has contacted for comment, is probing the death. Preliminary information suggested the gun was fired at point-blank range, and that Voronov had died up to 14 hours before his body was discovered, 47 News reported.

The outlet reported that Voronov's wife told police he had left St. Petersburg on July 1 following a conflict with business partners over money and gone to the house where he died, news outlet Baza reported.

Several other Russians have been found dead since late January, all but one since Vladimir Putin launched his attack on Ukraine on February 24. Voronov's death comes amid speculation about whether murders of top businessmen are being staged to look like suicides.

In January, Gazprom manager Leonid Shulman, 60, was found dead in the bathroom of a cottage in Leninsky village in the Leningrad region, next to a note that led police to believe he died by suicide.

Gazprom's deputy general director of the Unified Settlement Center for Corporate Security, Alexander Tyulyakov, was found dead in a cottage in the same village on February 25.

On April 18, the bodies of Vladislav Avaev, a former vice president of Gazprombank, as well as his wife and daughter, were found dead in their multi-million dollar Moscow apartment.

The next day, the bodies of former Novatek top manager Sergei Protosenya, 55, his wife and 18-year-old daughter were found in a rented villa in Lloret de Mar in Spain's Catalonia region.

Financier and political activist Bill Browder, once the largest foreign portfolio investor in Russia, told a documentary in June that the sanctions against Moscow imposed because of the Ukraine war meant "the pie has shrunk."

"Whenever there's limited resources and very powerful people, people start getting killed," he told Secrets of the Oligarch Wives.

In April, Browder told Newsweek that murders were often made to look suicides and were committed by people who "wanted a cut of the money that these people had access to" and "weren't sharing."