06MOSCOW11533, THIRD CONTRACT KILLING EVOKES MEMORIES OF 1990’S

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #06MOSCOW11533.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MOSCOW11533 2006-10-13 12:50 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO8599
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHMO #1533 2861250
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 131250Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3890
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 011533 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/RUS 
TREASURY COX/ALIKONIS/BAKER 
COMMERCE FOR 4231/IEP/EUR JBROUGHER 
NSC FOR GRAHAM AND MCKIBBON 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/13/2016 
TAGS: ECON EFIN ETTC PREL PTER RS
SUBJECT: THIRD CONTRACT KILLING EVOKES MEMORIES OF 1990'S 
 
REF: A. MOSCOW 10248 
     B. MOSCOW 10603 
 
Classified By: Econ M/C Quanrud, Reasons 1.4 (b/d) 
 
1. (C) Summary. Vneshtorgbank banker Alexander Plokhin was 
gunned down October 11 in an apparent contract killing, the 
third in Moscow in a month. Foreign investors are growing 
increasingly concerned by the perception of lawlessness in 
the streets of Moscow, although local business leaders are 
taking this latest killing in stride so far. Separately, the 
press is reporting that authorities have apprehended suspects 
in Deputy Central Bank Chair Kozlov's murder case.  All this 
evokes memories of 1990s violence in Moscow.  Further 
violence could undermine what many Russians considered one of 
Putin's greatest successes: the return of public order. End 
Summary. 
 
Plokhin 
------- 
 
2. (U) As commentators and analysts still try to make sense 
of the recent killings of Deputy Central Bank Chairman Kozlov 
and human rights journalist Anna Politkovskaya, the apparent 
contract murder of banker Alexander Plokhin this week evoked 
memories of the early 1990s when business partners and mafia 
alike resorted to guns to settle disputes. According to the 
press, Plokhin, director of an affiliate branch of 
state-owned Vneshtorgbank (VTB), was shot in the head as he 
got off the elevator to his Moscow apartment on October 11. 
Authorities suspect an accomplice outside tipped off the 
shooter as Plokhin entered the building. Plokhin's relatives 
told the press that he had received death threats in the 
past, but had opted not to employ bodyguards. Plokhin worked 
for Vneshtorgbank for the past 9 years. In the mid-1990s, he 
headed Moscow City Council's budgetary and finance committee. 
 
3. (C) According to Deutsche UFG chief economist, Yaroslav 
Lissovolik (strictly protect), foreign investors are 
increasingly concerned about this latest round of contract 
killings. However, he said that Russian contacts in Moscow's 
banking community are not particularly worried, but they were 
puzzled about Plokhin's murder and could not offer 
explanations. The president of the Association of Russian 
Banks suggested to the press on October 12 that Plokhin's 
murder was not the result of turf wars in the banking sector 
as some have speculated, but a general "criminalization of 
society." 
 
Kozlov murder case update 
------------------------- 
 
4. (U) The press on October 11 reported Moscow authorities 
apprehended three suspects on October 3 in connection with 
the Kozlov case, but were denying that the suspects were in 
their custody. Two of the three suspects are Ukrainian 
nationals. The press reports that the three claim that an 
unknown intermediary approached them at the end of summer to 
kill "a bandit who swindles good people" for $20,000. One of 
the suspects turned himself in to the police after finding 
out on television the identity of the victim. Subsequently, 
the two other suspects were apprehended. According to the 
press, the suspects refuse to cooperate in identifying the 
intermediary because they fear retribution. 
 
5. (C) Comment. Whereas the Kozlov and Politkovskaya murders 
had political overtones, Plokhin was a mid-level banker. 
Plokhin's murder has received more attention because it is 
the third contract killing in Moscow in a month. The only 
common factor in all three murders so far is that they all 
appear to have been contracted and professionally executed. 
However, bankers have been regular targets of assassination 
with Plokhin the seventh banker to be killed in the past six 
years, according to the press. Many are closely following the 
Kremlin's response to these contract murders, as they 
undermine a central pillar of Putin's public support: the 
perception that Putin brought stability and order to Russia 
after the chaotic 1990s. End Comment. 
RUSSELL

Wikileaks

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: