Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russia: High-Profile Killings, Attempted Killings In The Post-Soviet Period

Magadan Oblast Governor Valentin Tsvetkov was killed in Moscow on October 18, 2002 (CTK) PRAGUE, October 19, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, murder has been an unfortunate reality in the business and political life of Russia. Journalists, politicians, bankers, and managers in the oil sector have most frequently been the targets. Below, RFE/RL presents a timeline of some of the major killings of the last 12 years.

November 23, 2006: Former Federal Security Service agent and harsh Kremlin critic Aleksandr Litvinenko dies in London of a mysterious poisoning.

October 19, 2006: Dmitry Fotyanov, a mayoral candidate in the Far East city of Dalnegorsk, is gunned down as he left his campaign headquarters. The killing came just a week before a scheduled runoff election in the Primorsky Krai city.

October 15, 2006: Aleksandr Semyonov, a member of the Irbit city council who had spent 10 years in prison, is found dead with gunshot wounds in his back. Also, Anatoly Voronin, the head of ITAR-TASS's property management department, is found dead in his apartment. According to Moscow prosecutors, his body bore traces of violent death, including "multiple knife wounds."

October 7, 2006: Prominent journalist and critic of the Kremlin's policy in Chechnya Anna Politkovskaya is shot dead in her apartment building. Former Soviet President Gorbachev calls her slaying "a true political homicide, a vendetta."

September 14, 2006: Central Bank Deputy Chairman Andrei Kozlov is gunned down in Moscow. Kozlov played a leading role in efforts to stamp out money laundering in Russian banks.

October 16, 2005: Aleksandr Slesarev, former owner of two Russian banks, is shot dead with his wife and daughter outside of Moscow. "The murder may be linked with the revocation of a banking license and unfulfilled banking liabilities," a police representative said at the time.

March 17, 2005: Anatoly Chubais , head of the state-controlled electricity monopoly and architect of Russia's controversial privatization in the early 1990s, survives an explosion near his car and a gun attack.

July 9, 2004: Paul Klebnikov , a U.S. citizen and editor of the Russian-language version of Forbes magazine, is gunned down outside his Moscow office. Klebnikov had written at length about corruption, and Forbes had published a list of Russia's richest people.

March 2, 2004: Novosibirsk Deputy Mayor Valery Maryasov, the official responsible for privatization in the Siberian city, is shot dead in his apartment building.

October 12, 2003: Controversial businessman Andrei Andreyev, locked in court battle with Kremlin-connected aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska, narrowly survives gun attack. Case unsolved.

July 3, 2003: Yury Shchekochikhin, liberal lawmaker and investigative journalist, dies of a mysterious allergic reaction. Many believe it was a case of deliberate poisoning, but the incident was never investigated as a murder.

June 7, 2003: Sergei Shchitko, the commercial director of the RATEP defense plant, is found shot to death in his car in Serpukhov, a small city near about 90 kilometers south of Moscow.

June 6, 2003: Igor Klimov, the acting general director of defense contractor Almaz-Antei, is shot dead outside his home in downtown Moscow.

April 17, 2003: Sergei Yushenkov, veteran liberal politician and leader of a staunchly anti-Kremlin party, is shot dead.

March 14, 2003: Promeksimbank Vice President Andrei Ivanov is killed in Moscow.

November 6, 2002: Promyshlenno-stroitelnyi Bank Director Leonid Davidenko is killed in St. Petersburg.

October 18, 2002: Magadan Oblast Governor Valentin Tsvetkov is shot dead in central Moscow. He had been trying to crack down on rampant crime in his Pacific region's gold and oil industries.

June 3, 2002: Alfavit financial group Chairman Pavel Shcherbakov is killed in Moscow.

May 21, 2002: Major-General Vitaly Gamov, commander of border guards on the Far Eastern Sakhalin Island, dies in an arson attack on his apartment. The attack is believed to have been motivated by his attempts to clamp down on illegal seafood smuggling.

June 29, 2000: Akademkhimbank Chairman Sergei Ponamarev is killed in Moscow.

December 30, 1999: Businessman Mikhail Dakhya is killed by a sniper in central St Petersburg. Dakhya was in the timber business in Novgorod Oblast.

November 17, 1999: Intersvyazbank Chairman Sergei Belov is killed in Moscow.

Galina Starovoitova was gunned down in the entrance to her St. Petersburg apartment building in November 1998 (AFP file photo)

November 20, 1998: Galina Starovoitova , a leading liberal State Duma deputy and human rights campaigner, is shot dead by gunmen at her apartment building in St Petersburg. Her aide, Ruslan Linkov, is seriously injured.

August 1998: Aleksandr Shkadov, chief executive of Russia's biggest diamond-processing plant, Kristall, is shot dead in an apparent contract killing in Smolensk.

August 3, 1998: Promstriogaz bank President Yury Bezruchenko is killed in Moscow.

July 3, 1998: Lev Rokhlin , State Duma deputy and Defense Committee chairman, is shot dead near Moscow. He was involved in controversial efforts to reform the military. Rokhlin's widow was accused of the crime but maintained her innocence.

June 8, 1998: "Sovetskaya Kalmykia Segodnya" Editor in Chief Larissa Yudina is killed after being beaten and stabbed. She was a vocal critic of Kalmykia President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and members of his inner circle are later implicated in the killing.

February 6, 1998: New Moscow bank Chairman Dmitry Levchenko is killed in Moscow.

August 19, 1997: St. Petersburg Deputy Governor Mikhail Manevich, who oversaw the city's privatization program, is shot dead by a sniper while driving on Nevsky Prospekt.

June 17, 1997: Larisa Nechayeva, director of Russia's top soccer club Spartak Moscow, is shot dead near Moscow in a contract killing.

April 22, 1997: Valentin Sych, head of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, is shot dead in a contract killing outside Moscow. The former head of the league was charged with his murder.

January 14, 1997: Kutuzovsky bank Chairman Yury Repin is killed in Moscow.

November 3, 1996: Paul Tatum, U.S. businessman who co-owned one of Moscow's most prestigious hotels, is shot dead with a submachine gun at Moscow subway underpass. Tatum was involved in long-running dispute with Russian partners over control of hotel.

June 13, 1996: Vladimir Oberderfer, a regional representative of nationalist presidential candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky is shot dead in the Siberian mining city Novokuznetsk. Novokuznetsk police said the likely motive lay in Oberderfer's activities as an owner of a trading business, rather than politics.

June 13, 1996: Viktor Mosalov, mayor of Zhukovsky in Moscow Oblast, is shot three times in the head Local police ruled out a political motive and said local officials are ''more economic than political leaders."

June 6, 1996: Valery Shantsev, candidate for the post of deputy mayor of Moscow, was seriously wounded when a bomb exploded as he was leaving his apartment building.

Moscow police secure a murder scene (epa file photo)

November 28, 1995: State Duma Deputy Sergei Markidonov of the Stability faction, is shot in the head during a campaign trip to Petrovsk-Zabaikalsky in Chita Oblast.

October 17, 1995: Mosstroibank President Mikhail Zhuravlyov is killed in Moscow.

August 5, 1995: Russian Business Roundtable head and Rosbiznesbank Chairman Ivan Kivelidi is poisoned to death. Kivelidi had been openly critical of Russian police for failing to protect businesspeople or investigate their murders, especially in the wake of the July 21 killing of banker Oleg Kantor.

July 20, 1995: Yugorsky bank Chairman Oleg Kantor is killed by being repeatedly stabbed at his country house outside of Moscow. Yugorsky bank was heavily involved in the oil and gas sectors.

April 1995: Sergei Kushnaryov, a founding member of Russia's Agrarian Party, is stabbed to death in a suspected contract killing.

March 1995: Alla Gnezdilova, a judge, is murdered in Birobidzhan, the capital of Russia's far eastern Jewish Autonomous Region, in an apparent contract killing.

March 1, 1995: Russian Public Television head Vladislav Listyev is shot in the heart by an unknown gunman outside his Moscow home. The attack is linked to opponents of an advertising ban he had proposed for the television channel.

November 5, 1994: State Duma Deputy Valentin Martemyanov of the Communist Party, dies of wounds suffered during a vicious beating in Moscow several days earlier. The killing is never explained.

April 26, 1994: State Duma Deputy Andrei Aizderdis of the New Regional Policy faction, is shot to death with a hunting rifle outside his Moscow home.

February 2, 1994: State Duma Deputy Sergei Skorochkin of Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party is killed in Moscow, his body hand-cuffed to railway tracks.

October 17, 1994: Investigative journalist Dmitry Kholodov, who specialized on corruption in the Defense Ministry, is killed when a briefcase he picked up at a Moscow train station after an anonymous tip blows up in his office.

RFE/RL Russia Report

RFE/RL Russia Report

SUBSCRIBE For news and analysis on Russia by e-mail, subscribe to "RFE/RL Russia Report."