[QODLink]
Europe

Russian 'godfather' shot dead by sniper

Aslan Usoyan, allegedly a prominent leader of the Russian mafia, was shot as he left an exclusive Moscow restaurant.
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2013 12:33
The Georgian-born Yezidi Kurd was targeted by a sniper in a previous attempt on his life in 2010 [AFP]

A reputed Russian crime boss has been shot dead by an unidentified gunman in central Moscow, in an apparent contract killing which may reignite a 'turf war' between crime rings. 

Aslan Usoyan, also known as 'Grandpa Hassan' was shot by a sniper on Wednesday afternoon as he was exiting an exclusive Moscow restaurant, and died while being rushed to a hospital.

Russian authorities conducted ballistics tests and said that motives could be "connected to the criminal activity of the victim and possible conflicts with other representatives of the same milieu". 

Police have said that the incident also left a female bystander wounded, who is being treated in hospital.

"I am sure that a new criminal redistribution will begin now," said Alexander Khinshtein, a Russian legislator who sits on the security committee, in a tweet. 

The Georgian-born Yezidi Kurd was targeted by a sniper in a previous attempt on his life in 2010. 

The 75-year-old earned the underworld title of "thief in law" which means a criminal godfather.

With his first conviction when he was aged 19, Usloyan allegedly headed a crime network involved in illegal gambling, drug and weapons sales, and natural resources extraction after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. 

Usoyan's ring was said to oversee the crime groups operating in south Russia, including the Caucasus.

Contract killings in turf wars were common across Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed as gangs battled to gain control of lucrative businesses and care up territory. 

239

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
join our mailing list