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Russian Oligarch Mikhail Watford Found Hanged In UK Mansion

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Kay Smythe Reporter
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Ukrainian-born oligarch Mikhail Watford was found hanged in one of the United Kingdom’s largest estates Monday.

Watford, 66, an oil and gas tycoon, was found dead in his home in unexplained but not suspicious circumstances, according to British law enforcement, The Guardian reported. Authorities were called to Watford’s home after his body was discovered at his Wentworth estate in Virginia Water, Surrey, by a gardener Monday, according to The Sun.

Though The Sun reported that Watford is Russian, he was born in Ukraine in 1955 before the fall of the Soviet Union, according to the Guardian. He was born Mikhail Tolstosheya and anglicized his last name when he moved to the United Kingdom in the 2000s, the outlet noted.

He is survived by three children and his Estonian wife, Jane, according to reports. (RELATED: France Seizes Russian Energy Oligarch’s $120 Million Super-Yacht)

The oligarch’s mother lived in a neighboring apartment to his villa-style home in Surrey, and allegedly insisted on keeping her Soviet ID after leaving Ukraine, the Sun reported. In a 2015 interview with the Sunday Times, Watford said his mother, “strongly believes communists will be back to Russia and Ukraine … we are praying her dream never comes true,” The Guardian reported.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced Feb. 27 that she has a “hit list” of Russian oligarchs who will face sanctions in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Guardian reported in a separate article. “We are targeting oligarchs’ private jets, we’ll be targeting their properties, we’ll be targeting other possessions that they have,” Truss reportedly told local news outlets this past weekend, “There will be nowhere to hide.”