A former official for the Kremlin and ex-VP of the powerful Russian private bank Gazprombank, Vladislav Avayev, was found dead along with his wife, Yelena and younger daughter. Maria in his Moscow apartment.

Avayev’s daughter Anastasia, 26, found her family dead from gunshot wounds and told police she found the gun in her father’s hand. Some reports also allege that Yelena was pregnant, but this is not confirmed. One rumored theory is that she was pregnant through an affair that could have motivated this horrific shooting. While police said they are considering any and all leads, this case is most likely a murder-suicide.

The husband and wife were also reportedly sparring legally over who had the right to raise their young daughter killed in the shooting. Yelena filed a lawsuit against Avayev last year but apparently withdrew it in December. Another theory behind the motivation of the crime was financial pressure. One of Avayev’s neighbors told The Daily Mail, “Perhaps this was because of the sanctions – everyone is depressed, some are willing to go to extreme measures.”

Gazprombank has also recently made headlines because it is central to Vladimir Putin’s response to western gas sanctions, desperately demanding that foreign countries deemed “hostile,” including all countries in the EU, the United States, Canada, South Korea, Japan and many other countries  pay for Russian gas in roubles through Gazprombank to assist in gathering more funds for the country.


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This was rejected by the E.U., but other unspecified countries reportedly agreed to pay in rubles anyway. The bank has also been slapped with sanctions by Britain and may face more down the line. While Avayev had stepped down from the bank, he may have still had connections there. He was also a close ally to Putin and reportedly served as a director for a powerful department in the Kremlin.

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