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Contract Killings


Monday, 15 October 2007

Russia Contract Killings

Dmitry Shvets, the 37-year-old deputy director-general of the TV-21 Northwestern Broadcasting independent television in the city of Murmansk. He was killed April 18, 2003, when he was shot several times outside the TV-21 office building. TV-21 journalists had reported receiving threats in connection with critical reporting on several influential politicians, including those involved in local mayoral elections.

Paul Klebnikov, the editor of the Russian edition of "Forbes" magazine, was killed July 9, 2004 outside his Moscow office, after being struck by shots fired from a passing car. Klebnikov, a 41-year-old American of Russian descent, had reported extensively on Russia's billionaire oligarchs, including Boris Berezovsky. His family has dismissed attempts to attribute the killing to Chechens acting on the orders of a separatist fighter whom Klebnikov had profiled.

Magomedzagid Varisov, a prominent journalist and political analyst with the "Novoye delo" weekly, was killed June 28, 2005 in Makhachkala, the capital of Daghestan. Assailants carrying automatic rifles opened fire on his car as he was returning home with his wife and driver; Varisov was killed immediately. Varisov had often used his publication to criticize the Daghestani opposition. "Novoye delo" had reportedly received repeated phone call threats against him.

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