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A Russian oil tycoon found dead this month has become the sixth high-profile oligarch to allegedly take his own life since the start of Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Billionaire Alexander Subbotin , 43, the chief of Kremlin-aligned gas giant Lukoil, was found dead after reportedly seeking the advice of shamans to cure a hangover.

So-called spirit healers Magua Flores and Tina Cordoba inserted toad venom beneath his skin as part of the bizarre ritual.

Local media reports say Subbotin died of a heart attack after ingesting the herb valerian – which is known to cause abnormal heart rhythm for some people.

But Subbotin’s unfortunate end is just the most-recent in a line of some of the country’s wealthiest men who died under suspicious circumstances.

At the end of April, Sergey Protosenya – who used to run oil firm Novatek – reportedly hacked his wife and teen daughter to death with an axe in their luxury Spanish villa before taking his own life in the courtyard.

( REN TV/east2west news)

Former vice-president of Gazprombank, Vladislaw Avaev , was also found dead in Moscow with his family one day earlier – sparking suspicion the two deaths could be linked.

Avaev, 51, his pregnant wife Yelena, 47, and younger daughter Maria, 13, were found deceased one day earlier in their £2million Moscow apartment by another daughter – with police suspecting Avaev’s pistol was used to kill all three.

Law-enforcement sources told state-owned Tass news agency that the death was a murder-suicide, as did authorities in Protosenya’s case.

Shamans Magua Flores (real name Alexey Pindyurin) and Tina Cordoba (Kristina Teikhrib) ( social media/east2west news)

The main suspicion of foul-play centres around the deaths being so close together – within 48 hours.

Another former Gazprombank vice president, Igor Volobuev, told Russia’s Insider Avaev’s death could have been “staged because he may have known too much” and that he didn’t believe Protosenya took his own life either.

Five more oligarchs linked to the Kremlin have died this year – the majority after Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine on February 24.

Former Kremlin official and Gazprombank vice-president Vladislav Avayev, 51, (pictured) found dead beside his 13-year-old daughter and pregnant wife ( social media/ EAST2WEST NEWS)

On February 25, Alexander Tyulakov was found dead in his garage with a suicide note next to his body in St Petersburg.

His death came weeks after that of fellow Gazprom executive Leonid Shulman , whose body was found alongside a suicide note at the end of January.

On February 28, Mikhail Watford , a gas and oil magnate, was discovered hanged in the garage of his Surrey, England, mansion, leaving behind three children.

Vasily Melkinov (pictured) was also found dead under suspicious circumstances ( twitter.com/nexta_tv)
Gazprom manager Alexander Tyulakov, 61, was also found dead in his mansion in Leningrad on February 25 ( Gazprom/east2west news)

The oligarch died in “unexplained circumstances” but there was no indication he had been targeted with sanctions due to being close with Putin, according to the Guardian, citing police reports.

Billionaire Vasily Melnikov , who founded the medical company MedStorm, was found dead alongside his wife and two young sons in Nizhny Novgorod in late March, Kommersant reported at the time.

Mikhail Watford was found dead at his home in Surrey

Though Melkinov’s company was said to be close to collapse due to sanctions, neighbours and people who knew the family said there was no reason to suspect any issues between them.

An employee received a message the day before their bodies were found from Melkinov who asked him to bury him in the same plot as his mother.

The message also gave the location of his key “under the rug” and told him “don’t break the door”.

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