Russian oligarch Mikhail Watford found dead in UK mansion

The father of three was said to have been disturbed by the war in Ukraine

Mikhail Watford was found dead at his Surrey home on Monday. Photo: LinkedIn
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A Russian oil and gas tycoon has been found dead at his home in the UK, decades after he left his birthplace in Ukraine.

Mikhail Watford, 66, was found hanged in his £18 million ($24m) mansion in Virginia Water, Surrey, on Monday.

Police were called to the luxurious residence after a gardener discovered his remains at about midday.

Watford, a father of three, was not included in the UK government’s list of oligarchs sanctioned after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The businessman made his fortune through oil and gas from the former Soviet republic, before establishing a property company in Britain.

He is believed to have been born in Ukraine and held a Russian passport.

A family friend was quoted by The Sun newspaper saying Watford had been disturbed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“His state of mind might have been affected by the situation in the Ukraine,” the source said.

“The timing of his death and the invasion of Ukraine was surely not coincidental.”

Watford changed his name from Tolstosheya when he arrived in Britain in the 2000s.

A spokesman for Surrey Police said the alarm was raised at about noon on Monday and a man in his 60s was pronounced dead at the scene.

“An investigation into the circumstances of the death is under way but it is not believed there are any suspicious circumstances.”

Updated: March 03, 2022, 11:31 AM