Russian billionaire hit by car in UK dies amid fears he was ‘knocked down’

A Russian billionaire who lived in Britain has died after he was hit by a car while walking his dog.

Dmitry Obretetsky, 49, was hit close to his home in Oxshott, Surrey, in an incident that involved three cars.

A Russian friend and associate of Mr Obretetsky has questioned whether he was deliberately knocked down during the fatal incident, which reportedly initially left him in a coma.

The man’s dog, believed to be called Oscar, was also killed in the collision on Monday, November 25.

Surrey Police said a man had died five days after the crash, and while the force has not confirmed his identity Mr Obretetsky was named as the victim in Russian media.

A succession of Russian immigrants to Britain have died in suspicious circumstances in recent years but it is unclear if foul play is suspected in this case.

Sources said Mr Obretetsky was a billionaire who made his fortune in Volgograd after the fall of the Soviet Union before moving to Britain with his wife and children.

He founded a household chemicals retail company and was owner of Magnat Trade Enterprise, official distributor for Mars, Nestle, Procter & Gamble in Russia.

His associate Pavel Borovkov was quoted by Russia's Life magazine as saying Obretetsky was a longtime resident of Britain.

“He came back to Russia on business. You know, people drive cars very carefully in (Britain),” said Borovkov.

“I don’t exclude that he was specially knocked down.”

He became an hero with football fans in his homeland during Euro 2008 when he was pictured among a sea of Dutch fans waving a Russian tricolour flag in a quarter final game when Russia beat Holland 3-1.

Borovkov said Mr Obretetsky had created “one of the most civilised and European-like companies in our country”.

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“Dmitry was a man of diverse interests, he did not focus only on business," he said.

“We remember how at the famous quarter-final of the Euro 2008 football tournament he proudly, completely alone in a crowd of Dutch fans, held a large Russian flag with the inscription ‘Volgograd’.

“He loved contemporary music – hard rock, was a fan of Ozzy Osbourne.”

He was “a wonderful friend and colleague, an understanding and friendly person”.

Despite living in Britain – close to several Chelsea FC stars, according to reports in Moscow – he often visited his homeland.

There had been criticisms of him for his employment methods and a report by Life said:”After his death, this business empire risks collapsing miserably, leaving thousands of ordinary residents of Volgograd unemployed.”

Obretetsky was married and his son Ilya, now believed to be 22, had attended Millfield School and is a UK citizen.

He also had two daughters at school in England.

His consulting company LLC Advant said: “We know very little about what happened.

“Of course, this is a great loss and tragedy for all of us.”

Surrey Police confirmed that no arrests have been made in relation to the collision and investigations are ongoing.

Appealing for information and dash cam footage of the incident, a spokesman added the man's next of kin have been informed.


Former Russian airline executive Nikolai Glushkov – seen as an enemy of Vladimir Putin – was found dead in New Malden in March last year.

His death, aged 68, is seen by police as murder and remains under investigation.

Glushkov had been sentenced in absentia to eight years jail in Russia over alleged £87 million embezzlement of Aeroflot funds, a conviction he claimed was politically motivated by Putin’s government.

He was a close friend and associate of businessman Boris Berezovsky, another Putin opponent, who died aged 67 in unexplained circumstances in 2013 in Sunninghill, Berkshire.

Another Putin foe, Alexander Litvinenko, died after being poisoned with polonium in 2006 aged 43.

Two years later Badri Patarkatsishvili, 52 and a friend of Berezovsky, succumbed to a heart attack in Surrey but suspicions have remained about his death.

 And financier Alexander Perepilichnyy,  who helped expose alleged fraud by Russian officials, died while jogging in Surrey in 2012.

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