Vittert: Mysterious Russian executive deaths ‘a purge’

Russia At War

(NewsNation) — There are now at least 10 prominent Russian businessmen who have died since the war in Ukraine started.

This week, media reports detailed the latest in a string of mysterious deaths among Russian executives when energy businessman Ivan Pechorin was found dead after “falling overboard.”

NewsNation’s Leland Vittert joined “Rush Hour” to discuss the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

“We know that (Russian President) Vladimir Putin is very scared of a coup,” Vittert said. “He’s very scared of his own security officials. And this is a purge.”

And it’s not just enemies or those who spoke out against Putin. Even his friends and former allies are among those who have met untimely deaths.

According to Vittert, one fell off a fishing boat in the North Sea. Another suffocated spontaneously — although there were signs of a stroke. Yet another fell out of a window in a hospital room where he was getting treatment.

Many of those who have died have ties to Russian oil companies.

“Oil companies are the only way that Vladimir Putin is still getting any of his hard currency into his country. Vittert said. “The only way he’s really staying in power.”

Vittert said the deaths are reminiscent of the way Soviet political leader Josef Stalin dealt with any type of political rival.

“Who doesn’t need to be worried?” Vittert said. “And the answer is nobody in this, and you see these oligarchs who have come to power through Vladimir Putin’s patronage, and now all of a sudden, they are tied to him. There’s really no option.”

Watch the full interview with Leland Vittert in the video player at the top of the page.

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