Police in the United Kingdom are investigating an alleged order to kill by Putin’s cronies against a Russian exile who claims to have experienced three assassination attempts.
Igor Sychev, 48, recently received his latest death threat – seen by The Sun – which promises to make his murder look like a “poison suicide” or a “freak falling accident”.
The father-of-two left his world behind in March 2016 when he fled Russia after his family received multiple threats and alleged attempts were made to end his life.
This came after he took his former company PhosAgro – owned and run by oligarchs and Putin cronies – to court for reportedly failing to pay him.
A spokesman for the company told The Sun that it had been “the subject of numerous wild and unfounded allegations from Mr Sychev.”
But Igor said the fallout from the dispute fueled nearly a decade of pain.
Igor has been a refugee in Latvia since 2018 and explained that he lives in constant fear of being killed after a nine-year nightmare that turned his life into despair.
He lost his job, his home, his family and ultimately his country.
Igor fears that the death threats and assassination attempts are related to the ongoing case – but that hasn’t stopped him from fighting back.
“I just want to get justice,” he told The Sun.
In recordings of phone calls also heard by The Sun and also provided to Latvian and British police, Igor was warned that he and his family would be killed if he did not drop the case.
The threat to the exiled Russian’s life has become so serious in recent weeks that Latvian authorities have reportedly asked him to join witness protection.
Igor worked for PhosAgro, the Russian fertilizer company, for two decades and helped the company resolve some high-profile tax disputes in 2014.
“I have done my part of the job perfectly and should receive a reward of one percent of the shares,” he claimed.
Instead, he claimed the company tricked him and refused to pay the amounts owed to him.
Igor has started legal proceedings against her in the UK.
And while the case was ongoing, he suffered three near-fatal car accidents in Moscow.
With frightening repetition, with each harrowing experience, “a wheel flew off, the brakes were disabled, and two out of three cars were simply blown to pieces.”
A horrifying video showed the moment a car lost a wheel and sped along the motorway with sparks flying before crashing.
I became her worst enemy because I made a fool of her
Photos also showed the aftermath of the alleged assassination attempts – three brand new Jeeps that were damaged beyond repair.
“The most important thing is that they tried to portray them as car accidents… it was a pure miracle that I survived,” he said.
Igor claimed that Russian investigators had confirmed that the vehicles had been deliberately tampered with and a criminal case had been opened.
“Shortly afterwards the case disappeared without any documentary trace,” he said.
In exchange for his survival, Igor claimed that the Russian authorities had opened a “fake” criminal case against him and that his house was soon searched by police.
He described how armed men with dogs came to his house, threatened him and his heavily pregnant wife, stole his passport and announced that he would be arrested in eight days.
“When they thought I was their hostage, [PhosAgro] “Coworkers contacted me and demanded that I stop pursuing me in court and pay £3 million as a bribe to the Russian police,” Igor claimed.
The 48-year-old managed to escape the country using a second secret passport, which was kept in the British embassy.
But even outside of Russia he was still on the safe side.
“When they realized I had outwitted them, I became their biggest enemy because I had fooled them,” he claimed.
“I guess that’s the main reason they hate me so much.
“You put so much effort into this fabricated criminal case against me.”
Igor has secretly recorded a series of threats, allegedly from PhosAgro representatives, in which they persistently try to intimidate him into ending his fight against the company.
The threats are now in the hands of various police forces and include, as Igor’s lawyer puts it, “threats of physical destruction.”
In one recording, a man can be heard shouting in Russian: “You can be killed today or tomorrow.”
“You will lose your wife and children,” threatened another caller.
“Why do you need this war?”
Since many of the calls and emails to Igor came from the UK, he has now asked the UK’s National Crime Agency to investigate.
Detective Inspector Michael O’Sullivan of the City of London Police said they were investigating the allegations.
“We received a report of malicious communications. We take such allegations seriously,” he told The Sun.
“We will have no further comment at this time.”
The National Crime Agency spokesman told The Sun: “We do not comment on the existence or otherwise of individual investigations.”
A translated list of some of the threats Igor received:
- “You don’t understand that you can be killed today or tomorrow, Igor?! Especially since everyone knows you’re in Riga, everyone knows!”
- “Stop it, you’re going to save your life, you understand?”
- “Igor, I beg you: give up all this! Give up, I beg you! You will lose your wife and children! Why do you need this war, tell me?!”
- “This problem can be solved in different ways, but of course there is a risk to you that we can eliminate so that they do not order to kill you.”
- “You won’t have a life…”
Igor also has evidence of several emails from unknown senders offering pre-paid funerals for both him and his family members.
On May 22, Igor said he received the news he feared most – an email from a man who “came across information and evidence about murder plots against him.” [Igor]”.
The mysterious sender wrote: “Igor, I would like to draw your attention to the following: orders to kill you.”
“By poison to make it look like suicide, or by a freak fall to make it look like an accident.”
Days of emails followed with further alleged confirmations, including “The threats to your life are real” and “You must complete the mission as quickly as possible.”
Asked why he continues to fight the case, Igor said: “The question is difficult.”
“This has been going on for nine years so far and it would be foolish to just drop it. I just want to get justice.”
Referring to the alleged assassination attempts, he said: “PhosAgro wanted to put an end to the whole thing quickly, to close this story.”
“They wanted to do it on their terms. But they couldn’t.”
But Igor fears further retaliation for his refusal to step down or remain silent.
“The situation is getting worse and worse and I am more and more afraid for my life because they have now ruined their reputation so much,” he said.
“They want to save face and my murder would solve a lot of problems for them.”
Regarding his family, he added: “I hoped that divorcing my wife would give them some sort of security.”
They remain in Russia and he hasn’t seen either of his two children in seven years.
Igor will likely never return to his homeland as he remains a wanted man, pursued by the police and very powerful elites.
“Even if they dropped their case against me, I would not return until Putin’s rule ends and one day justice could be served,” he said.
A spokesman for PhosAgro claimed that Igor’s legal claims against them had failed and that he was not entitled to any money from the company.
“His latest attempt to contact you is another desperate example of his doomed attempts to extract funds from PhosAgro,” they told The Sun.