Highest-Ranking Russian Mafia Boss Killed in Sniper Attack

“Grandpa Hassan" dies in his third assassination attempt

By Raluca Anghel on January 17th, 2013 14:57 GMT

75-year-old Russian mob boss Aslan Usoyan has been shot and killed in Moscow at 2:30 p.m. yesterday, reports say.

"Grandpa Hassan," as he was nicknamed, was shot by a sniper as he exited Karetny Dvor restaurant, in Moscow, Russia. The diner is located in close proximity to the Kremlin, Global Post details.

Usoyan was a long-standing figure on the mafia scene in the country, being dubbed the highest ranking boss in Russia.

The assailant used a Soviet-designed AS Val to gun down the elderly mobster. Even though Usoyan was surrounded by bodyguards, he was hit several times.

Police found six casings on the floor on an apartment, in the building across the street from the restaurant. Usoyan died after receiving a shot to the head. Two bullets entered a woman passing by him. She has been treated for injuries to her chest and one of her legs.

Usoyan was immediately transported to a hospital, but passed away on his way there. Local police found a link between this incident and the two other assassination attempts against the crime boss. In September 2010, he survived a gunshot to the stomach.

"The assassination carried out on Wednesday was probably the result of Aslan Usoyan's conflict with 'thieves in law' clans headed by immigrants from Georgia," the source said, according to the Guardian.

With the mob boss out of the way, many are concerned that turf wars will tear Moscow apart.

"My suspicion is we are going to be seeing blood on the streets. [...] It's likely this will lead to violence as a new leader tries to assert his power, with other gangs trying to nibble away at Usoyan's legacy," NYU professor and Russian mob expert Mark Galeotti assesses.

"It's not the 1990s – but, particularly because of the influx of Afghan heroin and the opportunities created by the Sochi Winter Olympics, the old pecking orders are in question," he adds.
Aslan Usoyan was the highest ranking mafia boss in Russia
   Aslan Usoyan was the highest ranking mafia boss in Russia
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