https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10731251/Ex-Kremlin-official-Gazprombank-vice-president-dead-gun-hand.html

Ex Kremlin official and Gazprombank vice president is found dead ‘with gun in his hand’ in his luxury Moscow apartment beside bodies of his wife and daughter, 13

  • Vladislav Avayev, 51, was found dead along with his ‘pregnant’ wife Yelena, 47, and their younger daughter Maria, 13 in their 14th-floor Moscow apartment
  • The bodies were found by the couple’s distraught adult daughter Anastasia 
  • All three victims had gunshot wounds, according to police in Moscow
  • Anastasia had gone to the apartment when she failed to contact her family 
  • It was reported that the shootings were carried out ‘with Avayev’s pistol’  
  • Investigators said they are keeping an open mind on the 14th floor massacre 

A former Kremlin official and Gazprombank vice-president has been found dead in his elite £2 million Moscow apartment by his 26-year-old daughter, police have said.

Alongside the body of multimillionaire Vladislav Avayev, 51, was his ‘pregnant’ wife Yelena, 47, and younger daughter Maria, 13.

The bodies – all with gunshot wounds – were found by the couple’s distraught adult daughter Anastasia, when she opened the apartment after failing to reach her family.

Investigators said they are keeping an open mind on the 14th floor massacre, carried out ‘with Avayev’s pistol’, and investigating any links to his work and personal life. 

Anastasia told officers that the gun had been in her father’s hand when she found his body, say reports.

Avayev previously worked as a high-flying executive at Gazprombank, a key part of Vladimir Putin’s gas-for-roubles scheme to hit back at Western sanctions – in which Putin demanded foreign companies open an account with the bank.

The 51-year-old had left the privately run bank as vice-president, but it was unclear if he retained connections to it.

Former Kremlin official and Gazprombank vice-president – Vladislav Avayev (pictured) – has been found dead in his £2 million Moscow apartment by his 26-year-old daughter, police say

Alongside the body of multimillionaire Vladislav Avayev, 51, was his 'pregnant' wife Yelena (pictured), 47, and younger daughter Maria, 13

Alongside the body of multimillionaire Vladislav Avayev, 51, was his ‘pregnant’ wife Yelena (pictured), 47, and younger daughter Maria, 13

The bodies - all with gunshot wounds - were found by the couple's distraught adult daughter Anastasia (pictured), when she opened the apartment after failing to reach her family

The bodies – all with gunshot wounds – were found by the couple’s distraught adult daughter Anastasia (pictured), when she opened the apartment after failing to reach her family

Earlier he had been deputy head of a major department in Putin’s Kremlin administration. He was wealthy from his construction company.

One theory is that there had been jealousy after Yelena was found to be five months pregnant by her husband’s driver.

However, reports are ambiguous as to whether the dead woman was pregnant.

Other accounts suggest the wealthy ex-banker had discovered his wife was having an affair, and the driver had resigned.

Separately there were claims the couple had been involved in a court dispute regarding financial matters.

But investigation sources say they are probing a number of leads.

A total of 13 weapons were found in the luxury flat, which had been locked from the inside, according to Anastasia.

A neighbour called Kristina said: ‘I heard three shots and shouting. A woman was screaming. Then two more shots were fired. No-one else was screaming.

Pictured: A still grab from a video purportedly showing the crime scene inside Avayev's apartment

Pictured: A still grab from a video purportedly showing the crime scene inside Avayev's apartment

Pictured: Still grabs from a video purportedly showing the crime scene inside Avayev’s apartment

Pictured: A general view of Avayev's apartment building in Moscow

Pictured: A general view of Avayev’s apartment building in Moscow

Pictured: Officials are seen outside Avayev's apartment building in Moscow

Pictured: Officials are seen outside Avayev’s apartment building in Moscow 

‘I looked out the window – I thought it was fireworks… It turned out they weren’t, my mother told me it was definitely gunshots.’

A female neighbour said: ‘Perhaps this was because of the sanctions – everyone is depressed, some are willing to go to extreme measures.’

She said sanctions and the economic downturn may have hit his business.

‘They possibly put him in debt and he decided to shoot himself,’ she said.

Another female neighbour said: ‘He was a smart man, almost the head of Gazprombank. I had seen him – he did not look like a maniac. He was a nerd.

‘He had no reason to do that. He was rich, smart. There’s no way a man like that could kill. Maybe Avayev and his family were killed.

‘So what does that mean? A man with a gun broke into our house, and no one stopped him? How are we supposed to sleep now?’ 

Gazprombank is one of the main channels for payments for Russian oil and gas, and in March, Putin demanded that foreign countries must open accounts with the bank in order to pay for Russian gas – in retaliation against western sanctions. 

Gazprombank would then convert euros or dollars into roubles. 

Putin had initially said foreign countries must pay for Russian energy in Roubles in a bid to save the country’s failing economy, a stance that he later softened on. 

In March, Britain announced sanctions against Gazprombank – the third largest bank in Russia – as part of a crackdown by western countries on Moscow over its brutal on-going invasion of Ukraine. 

Over the weekend, the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen told a German newspaper that the European Union’s forthcoming sanctions will also target banks, in particular Sberbank, as well as oil.

Pictured: People visit a branch of Gazprombank in Moscow, Russia (file photo). Vladislav Avayev had recently left his role as a vice president in the bank - Russia's third largest

Pictured: People visit a branch of Gazprombank in Moscow, Russia (file photo). Vladislav Avayev had recently left his role as a vice president in the bank – Russia’s third largest

Bild am Sonntag, in an interview published on Sunday, asked her to name the key points of a planned sixth round of sanctions.

‘We are looking further at the banking sector, especially Sberbank, which accounts for 37% of the Russian banking sector. And, of course, there are energy issues,’ she said.

The EU has so far spared Russia’s largest bank from previous sanctions rounds because it, along with Gazprombank, is one of the main channels for payments for Russian oil and gas, which EU countries have been buying despite the conflict in Ukraine.

She also said that the EU was working on ‘clever mechanisms’ so that oil could also be included in the next sanctions.

‘What should not happen is that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin collects even higher prices on other markets for supplies that would otherwise go to the EU,’ she was quoted as saying. ‘The top priority is to shrink Putin’s revenues,’ she said.

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