Troubled Skies of Oil Tycoons

History has repeatedly shown that pro-Russian executives from energy industry have a horrible record of aircraft accidents. Recent plane crash, which killed Christophe de Margerie, president of the French oil giant Total, has been just another reminder of the risky nature of business with Russia. Well-equipped and closely guarded, Moscow’s Vnukovo airport did not prevent his jet from collision with a snowplow on October 20, 2014. Very suspicious circumstance, indeed! This tragedy has some similarities with previous plane crashes, which also killed pro-Russian oil CEOs. Almost 52 years prior to the Vnukovo disaster, Enrico Mattei, pro-Soviet boss of ENI, died in a plane crash near a village in Lombardy, Italy, on October 27, 1962. He was also a staunch opponent of French imperialism in Algeria and US global hegemony. Chechen oil trader, Ziya Bazhayev, died in an aircraft accident shortly after takeoff from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on March 9, 2000. Russian media mogul, Artyom Borovik, was also killed in this crash.

A film poster for "Il Caso Mattei".

Of course, all human beings are mortal. Everyone can fall a victim to an accident. However, rich and powerful energy barons are least prone to such sort of things. They hire best pilots, who fly state-of-the-art business jets. As a rule, they use international airports with professional personnel and reliable equipment. Therefore, it is highly improbable that such discreet and wealthy persons would meet a tragic end, which is definitely not in their busy schedule. Nevertheless, their powerful rivals within the same circle of pro-Russian imperialists could employ intricate schemes to cover up foul play. Intelligence agencies, like Soviet KGB and East German Stasi, were especially skillful in the fine art of covert assassinations. Their dirty tricks became more sophisticated, when spymasters dealt with fat cats of capitalism. Now, former Communist spies have themselves turned into new capitalists. Although, their old destructive habits remain the same.

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