Mystery Surrounds Death Of 40-Year-Old IT Billionaire And Putin Ally In Moscow

Image of Russian oligarch Anton Cherepennikov.

Image of Russian oligarch Anton Cherepennikov. Credit: Юлия Остроухова/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

40-year-old Russian entrepreneur Anton Cherepennikov, the founder of the ICS Holding group of IT companies, was found dead in his office in Moscow.

Among other things, the oligarch is said to have developed spyware which steals personal information from civilians.

The incident is reported to have occurred last Saturday, July 22, with the Putin ally’s preliminary cause of death said to be cardiac arrest.

According to The Metro, a Moscow law enforcement source allegedly informed Russian state media that he had died due to an overdose of ‘medical gas’.

Claiming that three different people had visited his office the previous evening, the source detailed: ‘Cherepennikov took the drug for medicinal purposes, but presumably exceeded the allowable dose’

His death was confirmed by Maksut Shadayev

His death was confirmed by Maksut Shadayev, the head of the Ministry of Digital Development of the Russian Federation, who expressed his condolences to Cherepennikov’s relatives.

According to the minister, under the deceased businessman’s leadership, ICS Holding has become one of the largest technology companies in the country.

In a statement published on the department’s Telegram channel, Shadayev said: ‘Anton created low-orbit broadband access satellites, developed base stations, and built a unique scale production of Russian servers, data storage systems and tablets’.

‘It was thanks to Anton’s active position and the success of his companies that the industry grew rapidly. His departure is a huge loss for all of us’, he lamented. Shadayev added that the Ministry would support the company and its employees.

Cherepennikov created numerous companies

Born in 1983 in Moscow, Cherepennikov graduated from the Moscow State Construction University, after which he created the Osnova Lab company.

In 2015, he acquired Malvin Systems and merged the companies into the Citadel Group of Companies. That same year, together with Alexander Kokhanovsky, the founder of the Natus Vincere esports club, Cherepennikov created the ESforce esports holding based on the club.

He subsequently founded the Forpost group of IT companies in 2016, followed in March 2018 by Kryptonit LLC. Nine months later, Cherepennikov created ICS Holding, which united 23 IT companies, including Citadel, Forpost system integrator, and Kryptonit, an information security product developer, as reported by

There has been a string of mysterious deaths in Russia

Cherepennikov is another in a long list of mysterious deaths that occurred among high-profile citizens in Russia since Vladimir Putin launched his attack on Ukraine.

Last Friday, another billionaire oligarch known to have ties to the Russian leader was found dead at his home in the Russian capital. Igor Kudryakov died of an ‘oncological disease’ according to official reports.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at