MOSCOW, – A major Russian mafia boss was shot dead on Wednesday in Moscow. The police attributed to a war between two powerful groups of thugs fighting over lucrative construction projects, including the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi.
Police said an unidentified gunman made seven shots with a sniper rifle against Aslan Usoyan near a restaurant in central Moscow in the third assassination attempt against him in the last 15 years.
Usoyan, also known as Grandpa Hasan, a Kurd was born 75 years ago in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Police said that in the last two decades led one of the most powerful criminal groups trafficking drugs and weapons, and controlled underground casinos and several legitimate businesses, even in the construction industry.
Police said Usoyan was wounded in the jaw, was hospitalized in a coma and died shortly afterwards. Police said the attacker, who used a modern automatic rifle as used by Russian special forces also struck the pedestrian, who was hospitalized.
Usoyan came from a caste of professional criminals who sported tattoos, watched prisons codes of the Stalinist era and were the object of admiration in popular songs.
He was convicted for the first time in Georgia in 1956. Like other members of their caste, was strictly forbidden to make friends with men in uniform, avoided the ostentatious lifestyles, never married and saw the prison as their only home.
After surviving the totalitarian system that emerged, Russian criminals advantages enjoyed in the decade after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Usoyan opened a chain of casinos in Moscow and was responsible for an emergency fund for Russian criminals prisoners, a position that gave him enormous authority in the underworld of crime in the vast expanse of what had been the Soviet Union.
Early in the century had consolidated control over criminal groups in southern Russia that brought together native of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as Russian. Since 2006 was at war with a criminal group led by another Georgian, Tariel Oniani, officials said.
- Russian mafia boss Aslan Usoyan killed in Moscow (panarmenian.net)
- Top Russian mafia boss slain in Moscow (nzherald.co.nz)