Oligarch found dead in Surrey mansion 'feared he was on Putin's hit list'

4 March 2022, 00:22

Neighbour's say Mikhail Watford feared he was on Putin's hit list
Neighbour's say Mikhail Watford feared he was on Putin's hit list. Picture: Alamy/ Linkedin

By Megan Hinton

A Ukranian-born oligarch who was body was found at his mansion in Surrey, 'feared he was on Putin’s hit list' before his sudden death.

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Mikhail Watford, 66, was found by a gardener on the Wentworth Estate in Virginia Water, Surrey, on Monday.

According to The Sun, a neighbour said Mr Watford had been worried for two years that the Russian president had put him on a hit list.

Police are treating the father-of-three’s death as 'unexplained', but not suspicious.

The neighbour also said Mr Watford, known by loved ones as Misha, had been friends of Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky, who was found dead in his mansion in 2013.

Mikhail Watford, lived in an £18million mansion on one of the most sought after estates in Britain with his Estonian wife Jane, their two children and an older son from his first marriage.

A family friend told The Sun: "His state of mind might have been affected by the situation in the Ukraine.

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

Read more: UK slap sanctions on two more Russian oligarchs including Alisher Usmanov

Read more: 'Thousands' of Russians flee amid fears Putin will declare martial law after protests

Whilst another said: "I find it hard to believe that Misha would have taken his own life. It doesn’t add up."

Mr Watford’s wife shared a picture of her kissing him, while holding a cigar, on Facebook after his death with friend Gazolina Di Pitim writing to Mrs Watford, saying: "He had such a beautiful life because he met you. To me your story is one of the greatest love stories. This is love for ever."

A Surrey Police spokesman said: "We were called around midday on February 28 following reports of the discovery of a man’s body."An ambulance was called but the man, who was in his 60s, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

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