A Russian exile dodged three ‘assassination attempts by Putin’s oligarchs, who repeatedly sabotaged his Jeep, forcing him to crash,’ he told MailOnline.
Father-of-two Igor Sychev, 47, used to work for billionaire Russian oligarch Andrey Guryev’s chemical company PhosAgro and has long been opposed to Vladimir Putin.
In phone calls heard by MailOnline, Sychev was told the lives of his wife and children would be at risk unless he stopped trying to expose the oligarchs.
Guryev – who is subject to sanctions in the UK and elsewhere due to his links to the Russian regime – is worth £8.3billion and owns the second-largest mansion in London, Witanhurst House in Highgate. The only home bigger than Guryev’s is Buckingham Palace.
Meanwhile, Sychev is one of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s top donors and has given the political prisoner at least ₽1.5million.
INSERT VIDEO 2880221 Jeep ‘sabotaged’ in attempt to kill exile
Igor Sychev, 47, (pictured with his ex-wife Nadya, 46) has dodged three ‘assassination attempts by Putin’s oligarchs, who threatened to kill his children’ unless he stopped trying to expose them, he told MailOnline
Sychev claimed people associated with the oligarchs including Andrey Guryev, 62, tried to have him killed three times by tampering with his car
Sychev claimed his car was sabotaged three times, resulting in the wheels falling off while he was on the motorway (pictured) in an attempt to kill him
Russian exile Sychev told MailOnline that his family is ‘broken’ because of what Russian oligarchs have done to him
Russian oligarch Andrey Guryev owns Witanhurst House (pictured) in Highgate, which is London’s second-largest home. The only mansion larger in London is Buckingham Palace
After claiming political asylum in Latvia, Sychev took PhosAgro’s oligarch owners to court in the UK.
After helping PhosAgro out of a tax avoidance jam in Russia, Sychev said the company promised him a substantial bonus amounting to one per cent of the company’s worth in 2018.
He said the company never paid him and he started legal action.
Now, he has asked the UK’s National Crime Agency to prosecute his enemies for attempted murder, corruption and bribery after they ‘tried to kill him’, ‘bribed his lawyers’ and ‘threatened to murder his wife and children’.
Sychev told MailOnline: ‘My family is broken.’
He said pressure from the oligarchs had torn apart his family and were a factor in his divorce.
You will lose everything, do you understand? You’ll lose your kids, you’ll lose your wife’
However, he wanted to make clear he was no longer in contact with them to ensure their safety.
The threats and ‘assassination attempts’ started when Sychev took the oligarchs to court.
He said: ‘The oligarchs repeatedly threatened to kill me, demanding that I drop this lawsuit or assign it to persons associated with the oligarchs.
‘Such demands, accompanied by death threats, are extortion.
‘Even if death threats were not accompanied by demands related to the lawsuit, the mere fact of death threats is a very serious crime.
‘These monstrous crimes should not be unpunished.
‘We are talking about death threats not only against me but even against my children.’
INSERT VIDEO RAW 2880195 Audio reveals Russian exile’s children threatened
After Sychev got a replacement car, he said the same thing happened again, and a third time when he got another replacement vehicle
The car was pictured skidding across the road after the wheel fell off, causing sparks to fly
The car was visibly at an angle after it lost some of its wheels while Sychev was driving it. He said he was saved by the airbags
Sychev also claimed his car was sabotaged three times in an attempt to kill him.
He said: ‘The cars were new and expensive Jeeps and in the first case everything happened quickly at high speed on the highway.
‘According to the woman driving behind me, she saw that sparks of fire suddenly flew out from under the wheels of my car and immediately after that the front wheel with the accompanying iron fasteners came off.
Sychev used to work for billionaire Russian oligarch Andrey Guryev’s chemical company PhosAgro and has long been opposed to Vladimir Putin
Sychev misses his family but wanted to stress to MailOnline that he is no longer in contact with them
He has remained afraid for the safety of his ex-wife Nadya, 46, daughter Ksenia, 18, and son Ivan, six
The threats and ‘assassination attempts’ started when Sychev took the oligarchs to court
His son Ivan was just a baby when he saw him last. He said: ‘The oligarchs repeatedly threatened to kill me, demanding that I drop this lawsuit or assign it to persons associated with the oligarchs’
‘This huge wheel flew at this woman’s car and she miraculously dodged it.
‘My car crashed into a truck moving parallel and turned into a pile of scrap metal that cannot be restored. I survived thanks to the airbags.
‘The second incident was two weeks later, also at high speed on the motorway, which was quite empty at the time.
‘I felt that the car began to behave strangely and it almost did not listen to the steering wheel.
‘I stepped on the brakes but the brakes didn’t work.
‘I was able to stop only by inertia after about two minutes and only by happy chance avoided colliding with cars or people.
‘Video shows that sparks of fire were flying from under the car.’
Sychev said the car was totalled.
He said: ‘The third incident occurred a month later and then the wheel also fell off, but this time it happened at a low speed when approaching a traffic light.
‘After that, I crashed into a parallel car, but because of the low speed, no one was injured.
‘It was incredibly difficult for me to realise that the people for I worked for for 18 years wanted to kill me.
‘I turned to several experts at once to determine the causes of these incidents.
Father-of-two Sychev is one of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s top donors
He has donated at least ₽1.5million to the Russian political prisoner who has opposed Vladimir Putin
His daughter Ksenia (pictured) is now 18, but Sychev hasn’t been in touch with her since 2017, six years ago
He said: ‘It was incredibly difficult for me to realise that the people for I worked for for 18 years wanted to kill me’
‘Three expert institutions, independently of each other, came to the same conclusion – that the reason was that someone deliberately loosened certain nuts on my cars in such a way that during the movement these nuts will unscrew completely, and this will lead to wheel separation and brake failure.’
He added: ‘I don’t feel safe.
‘I regularly receive anonymous threats by phone, in instant messengers and by email.’
He even got sent an email to order a funeral plan with a discount of £500.
Then he started receiving threats over the phone.
He believed the threats were made by Maxim Lushkin, the personal driver of PhosAgro’s former chief executive Igor Antoshin.
Sychev said Lushkin denied he was involved in tampering with his cars but claimed the oligarch’s man had urged him not to ask for the incidents to be investigated.
Sychev said: ‘I regularly receive anonymous threats by phone, in instant messengers and by email.’ He even got sent an email to order a funeral plan with a discount of £500 (pictured)
He has asked the UK’s National Crime Agency to prosecute those he believes are trying to kill him
He wants them prosecuted for attempted murder, corruption and bribery after he they ‘tried to kill him’, ‘bribed his lawyers’ and ‘threatened to murder his wife and children’
He said: ‘The oligarchs repeatedly threatened to kill me, demanding that I drop this lawsuit or assign it to persons associated with the oligarchs. These monstrous crimes should not be unpunished’
The Sychevs were a happy family until Igor said he began to be ‘threatened’ by Russian oligarchs
He said Lushkin urged Russian exile Sychev to stop trying to expose the oligarchs, or at least let a lawyer friendly with Putin’s friends help settle the case.
He said Lushkin said this was necessary ‘so that they do not order to kill you’.
During several phone calls, Sychev said Lushkin ‘threatened’ him and suggested his life and those of his wife and children were at risk.
In recorded phone calls translated by MailOnline, a man called Max, who Sychev said was Maxim Lushkin, spoke with the Russian exile.
He said: ‘You don’t understand that you can be killed today or tomorrow, Igor?!
‘Especially since everyone knows that you are in Riga, everyone knows!
‘Stop the court claim, you will save your life, do you understand?
‘Reject all of this, you’re a rich man. You have enough money for the rest of your life.
Who is Andrey Guryev?
Andrey Guryev, 62, is a Russian oligarch and fertiliser tycoon worth £8.3billion as of 2023.
He is one of the top 20 richest people in Russia and a close associate of Vladimir Putin.
He owns Witanhurst, a 25-bedroom mansion in Highgate, north-west London and a five-storey penthouse in St George’s Tower in Vauxhall.
Andrey Guryev, 62, (pictured) is a Russian oligarch and close associate of Vladimir Putin
The mansion is the second-largest in London, with only Buckingham Palace being bigger.
It comes with a 70ft-long ballroom and a basement featuring massage rooms, a gym and a swimming pool fit for Olympic athletes.
He has reportedly sailed on a 269-foot superyacht called the Alfa Nero.
The secretive oligarch has never done an interview.
He was sanctioned in 2022 by the UK following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Pictured: The Alfa Nero superyacht is 269ft long
Meanwhile, his wife Evgenia Guryeva reportedly earned more in one year than 10 of the wealthiest Kremlin wives put together.
She owns a stable of classic and luxury cars, including two Rolls-Royces once belonging to Elton John, according to a family friend.
‘I’m your brother… I want to help you, Igor.
‘I repeat once again, reject this revenge.’
Lushkin added: ‘Do you not have any money?
‘Everything I can do for you, I will do. I will be your loyal dog.
‘Reject everything Igor, I beg you.
‘Understand, what you are doing is a very risky endeavour…’
‘You need to say no to everything.
‘I beg you. You will lose everything, do you understand?
‘You’ll lose your kids, you’ll lose your wife.’
Sychev claimed the oligarchs also bribed the British law firm representing him.
He said: ‘In the summer of 2021, I was lucky enough to find law firm, which agreed to work on a ‘no win – no fee’ basis.
‘Before signing the contract, they carefully checked all my evidence and my testimony, which had already been prepared by that time, confirmed their high quality (otherwise they simply would not have signed the contract).
‘But a few days before the deadline for submitting these documents to the court, my lawyers became very insistent and even aggressive in demanding that our response to the 2600-page applications of the defendants for challenging jurisdiction be presented only on three to five pages, consisting exclusively of headlines and hints, and no supporting evidence.
‘This is utter absurdity, which I would call legal suicide, and it became obvious to me that the oligarchs who warned me about bribing my lawyers put their words into practice.’
The Legal Ombudsman has since launched an investigation on the basis of Sychev’s claims.
He added: ‘My expectations that Putin’s oligarchs would not dare to commit corruption in the UK and Europe turned out to be naive.’
He said another reason for going public with his story was his ‘desire to protect myself from a possible murder’.
The National Crime Agency told MailOnline: ‘The Agency does not routinely confirm or deny the existence of investigations.’
The managing partner for the law firm told MailOnline: ‘We have been accused by our former client along with another reputable law firm and a number of High Court and Court of Appeal Judges of having been bribed.
‘There is not a shred of evidence to support his absurd allegations and we are currently involved in intended defamation proceedings against him and any publisher of his wicked lies.
‘In an application for security for costs he wished to avoid complying with Court practice and direction and turn the application into a trial.
‘That would have infuriated the Court. Instead of focusing on the core issues he decided that we were in the pay of Putin and has now commenced a campaign against us and the other firm without a shred of evidence.
‘Mr Sychev is paranoid and delusional. He will be restrained by the Courts.
‘We intend to invoke the graver crime of malicious falsehood against Mr Sychev and against those who have published his malicious lies given that he is acting with hate and malice and without any evidence.’
MailOnline has contacted PhosAgro for comment.