Oil billionaire Alexander Subbotin on Sunday became the sixth Russian oligarch to die under mysterious circumstances since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
According to Moscow police, Subbotin was laid low by a toxic toad during a hangover cure administered by a shaman.
Subbotin, 43, was formerly an executive with Lukoil, Russia’s largest privately-owned oil company, and was the owner of a successful shipping operation based in Finland called the New Transport Company.
Subbotin’s body was recovered by police from the basement of a house in Mytishschi, a suburb of Moscow, on Sunday evening. The house is owned by a man named Aleksei Pindyurin, who claims to be a shaman with mystical powers working under the supernatural alias “Magua Flores.” (Not every sorcerer is fortunate enough to be born with a cool name like “Stephen Strange.”)
Shaman Magua, along with his female partner Tina Cordoba (real name Kristina Teikhrib), offered their clients a variety of services, from communing with spirits to providing extreme alternative medical cures. Subbotin allegedly came to them looking for a hangover cure after overindulging in alcohol and drugs.
“They made an incision on the skin, dripped toad poison there, and after vomiting the patient allegedly got better. They also called spirits, sacrificed animals and bathed in cock’s blood,” an account posted on the secure Telegram messaging platform related.
When Subbotin told his attending witch doctors that he was not feeling very well after their hangover cure, they decided to give him an herbal sedative and let him sleep in their basement, in a room “used for Jamaican voodoo rituals.”
According to the preliminary report from local police, Subbotin suffered a heart attack and died during the night. He was pronounced dead at the scene after the shamans called for an ambulance.
“Subbotin had known the Magua family for a long time and used their services regularly. But the last session didn’t work,” the Moscow Times reported. The shamans told police they treated Subbotin as a friend, not as a paying client. The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs is reportedly opening a criminal investigation into the incident.
The string of mysterious oligarch deaths began on February 25, the day after the launch of the latest Russian invasion of Ukraine, when a top executive for Russia’s state energy company Gazprom named Aleksandr Tyulyakov was found hanged in his garage, a suicide note close at hand.
Another Russian tycoon named Mikhail Watford supposedly hanged himself in his garage in the United Kingdom three days later. On March 24, medical supply billionaire Vasily Melnikov was stabbed to death along with his wife and two sons in their apartment in Russia.
On April 18, financial tycoon Vladislav Avayev was killed in his Moscow apartment along with his wife and daughter. The police claimed Avayev shot his family and then turned the gun on himself.
The billionaire death spree continued on April 21 with the alleged murder/suicide of 55-year-old Sergei Protosenya, who was found hanged in a villa near Barcelona, Spain with his wife and daughter stabbed to death beside him.
A seventh billionaire death might be connected to the pattern, as top Gazprom executive Leonid Shulman was found dead along with a suicide note in his St. Petersburg cottage in January, a few weeks before the attack on Ukraine began.