Murder committed based on political, ideological, racial, national hatred and liability under the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

bobot 10/08/201512/31/2020 Category People, Countries Tags history, politics, murders Comment.

The most resonant murders that shook the 20th century

A crime can be called high-profile if it had a certain reaction from society. This is often the case with political murder —i.e. deliberate murder of a politician or other person engaged in public activities for political, ideological or military reasons. According to Wikipedia, political murder is carried out with the aim of achieving a political goal (coup, splitting an enemy organization, etc.) by individuals, terrorist organizations and states. We have prepared a list of those terrorist murders that changed the life of society.

Funeral of Indira Gandhi

Assassination of William McKinley - 1901

William McKinley, US President: assassinated on September 14, 1901 by Leon Czolgosz

The 25th President of the United States, William McKinley, was mortally wounded on September 6, 1901, at the Temple of Music at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. McKinley was holding a public meeting when anarchist Leon Czolgosz began shooting at him.

The President died on September 14 from gangrene caused by bullet wounds.

McKinley became the third American president to be assassinated, after Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and James Abram Garfield in 1881. The picture shows the moment of the shot.

Technological record

Perhaps the most technologically advanced and to some extent fantastic is the murder of the chairman of the board of Deutsche Bank, Alfred Herrhausen, committed on November 30, 1989 in the city of Bad Homburg, not far from the Frankfurt am Main agglomeration.

In Bad Homburg, Herrhausen lived and went to work every day in an armored Mercedes-Benz car with two escort vehicles - in front and behind. The killers faced a difficult task: to place a bomb in the path of the car in such a way that it would explode exactly when the Mercedes passed in front of a strictly defined point on the car body. Even if the explosion had occurred at the level of the driver's seat, Herrhausen would not have been injured.

Assassination of Franz Ferdinand - 1914

Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and Royal Prince of Hungary and Bohemia: assassinated on 28 June 1914 by Gavrilo Princip

In 1914, Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife were shot dead in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, one of a group of six assassins (five Serbs and one Bosnian).

In the photo: Franz Ferdinand and his wife during the parade ceremony in Sarajevo. In a few minutes a fatal attempt will be made on them.

The political goal of the assassination was the separation of the South Slavic provinces of Austria-Hungary and the creation of the state of Yugoslavia from them. The killers' motives are consistent with the movement that later became known as Young Bosnia.

The assassination became the immediate trigger for the outbreak of the First World War, after the Kingdom of Serbia partially rejected the subsequent ultimatum of Austria-Hungary.

In the photo: Gavrilo Princip - the killer of Franz Ferdinand

Murder of Sergei Kirov - 1934

Sergei Kirov, head of the Leningrad party organization, member of the Politburo, Organizing Bureau: killed on December 1, 1934 by Leonid Nikolaev

Nikolaev waylaid Kirov near his office in Smolny and shot him in the back of the head, then unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide. Nikolaev was arrested at the scene of the crime.

Assassination of Leon Trotsky - 1940

Leon Trotsky, Marxist revolutionary: assassinated on August 21, 1940 by Ramon Mercader

Leon Trotsky was a Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, founder and first leader of the Red Army. He was one of the founders of the Bolshevik Party. Along with Lenin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Stalin, Sokolnikov and Bubnov, Trotsky was one of the seven members of the first Politburo, founded in 1917 to lead the Bolshevik revolution.

Trotsky's ideas formed the basis of Trotskyism, a major school of Marxist thought that opposed the theory of Stalinism. After an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Trotsky in March 1939, Stalin entrusted the overall organization of the assassination to the NKVD.

In the photo: Ramon Mercader

On August 20, 1940, Trotsky was killed in his office by Ramon Mercader, who broke his head using an ice pick as a weapon. Trotsky died from his wound the next day.

In the photo: a bloody picture left at the scene of the attack.

Various different methods

We can briefly list several more original and more or less technologically advanced ways to carry out a political assassination. For example, the famous Chechen politician and separatist Dzhokhar Dudayev was deliberately killed in 1996 by a homing warhead launched from a Su-25 aircraft.

His location was determined by the bearing of a telephone conversation with State Duma deputy Konstantin Borov. Suicide bombers infiltrated the Afghan Minister of Defense Akhmat Shah Massoud in 2001 under the guise of television crews, hiding explosives in dummies of video cameras. Former State Duma deputy Andrei Aizderdzis was shot dead in 1994 with a pump-action shotgun.

In any case, a crime is a crime, no matter what equipment is used - infrared sensors, poison injectors, or just an ice pick (remembering Trotsky). Therefore, we will hope that in the future technology will stand up for the law and will significantly reduce the number of political murders, rather than contribute to their commission.

Tim Skorenko

Assassination of Inenjiro Asanuma - 1960

Inenjiro Asanuma, Chairman of the Socialist Party of Japan: assassinated on October 12, 1960 by Otoya Yamaguchi

Japanese politician Inenjiro Asanuma was the leader of the Japanese Socialist Party. A renowned speaker, Asanuma was an atypical politician in postwar Japan—he actively promoted socialism and supported the Chinese Communist Party. Asanuma was killed in Tokyo by a nationalist extremist while participating in a televised political debate.

The killer, Otoya Yamaguchi, rushed with a wakizashi (traditional samurai sword) onto the stage where Asanuma was performing and fatally wounded him in the stomach. Asanuma's violent death was broadcast in great detail on national television, leaving the general public shocked and outraged.

Yamaguchi's killer was caught in the act and committed suicide in police custody a few weeks later.

The photograph of the murder taken by reporter Yasushi Nagao won a Pulitzer Prize. Thus, she became the first photograph to win the award not taken by an American.

Assassination of Medgara Evers - 1963

Medgar Evers, civil rights activist, assassinated June 12, 1963, by Byron De La Beckwith

Medgar Wiley Evers was a black civil rights activist from Mississippi who fought against segregation at the state university. After returning from military service overseas during World War II, he completed his higher education and became a civil rights activist and one of the leaders of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). ).

Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens Council, as he returned from a meeting with NAACP lawyers, just hours after President John F. Kennedy's nationally televised civil rights speech.

See also: Teptyars and other disappeared peoples of the Russian Empire

Pictured: Medgara Evers

Nationally mourned, Evers was buried June 19 at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors, attended by more than 3,000 people.

At his trial, the jury found Beckwith guilty, and the court sentenced him to life in prison for first-degree murder without the possibility of parole. The US Supreme Court upheld the verdict. On January 21, 2001, at the age of 80, Beckwith died of heart disease. It is worth noting that Byron De La Beckwith was one of the most prominent figures of the Ku Klux Klan and was known as a famous American racist.

Assassination of John F. Kennedy - 1963

John F. Kennedy, US President: assassinated November 22, 1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963, as the presidential motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza Park in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was mortally wounded by a sniper while traveling with his wife, Jacqueline, and Texas Governor John Connelly and his wife Nellie Connelly.

A ten-month investigation by the Warren Commission from November 1963 to September 1964 concluded that Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, who acted alone.

Assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald - 1963

Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin: killed November 24, 1963 by Jack Ruby

According to the results of five government investigations, Lee Harvey Oswald was the sniper who killed the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.

Oswald was a former US Marine who defected to the Soviet Union in October 1959 and lived there until June 1962. He then returned to the United States. Oswald was initially arrested for the murder of Dallas police officer J.D. on the streets. Tippit, approximately 45 minutes after President Kennedy was shot.

Oswald was later accused of assassinating President Kennedy. Oswald himself denied any involvement in both murders. Two days later, while being transferred from police headquarters to the county jail, Oswald was shot and killed by nightclub owner Jack Ruby in full view of numerous television cameras. The murder was shown live.

The photo was taken moments before Ruby shot Oswald.

About slow-wittedness

A strange political murder was the death in 1878 of the Russian politician, adjutant general and chief of the gendarmerie Nikolai Mezentsov. On August 4, on Mikhailovskaya Square in St. Petersburg, a young man approached the general and gave him a painful poke in the side, after which he disappeared.

Mezentsov examined the site of the blow and found only a bruise. He calmly went home to call a doctor and find out if he needed any treatment. But upon arriving home, Mezentsov suddenly became worse. The doctor who arrived examined the bruise and found a puncture in it - that is, the general was poked with a thin stiletto in the abdominal cavity, and the wound was bleeding inward, not outward.

It was not possible to save Mezentsov - he died that evening. The killer, revolutionary populist Sergei Stepnyak-Kravchinsky, fled to Switzerland after the assassination attempt, where he published a brochure confessing to his crime.

Concluding the topic of poisonings, let us recall the murder of Russian businessman Ivan Kivelidi in 1995. An unknown poisoner applied a poisonous substance to the receiver of a businessman’s personal phone, as a result of which the latter’s secretary also died. As a result, the investigation led to the research institute where the substance was synthesized (a rare neurotoxin, the composition of which was not disclosed), and Vladimir Khutsishvili, Kivelidi’s business partner, was convicted of murder.

Umbrella for a killerThe umbrella used to kill Bulgarian dissident Georgiy Markov in 1978 was made in the USA and then modified at the Moscow TsNIIST (Central Research Institute of Special Equipment). A number of similar killer umbrellas were made, but their use is only reliably known in the case of Markov.

Assassination of Malcolm X - 1965

Malcolm X, Muslim spiritual leader, human rights activist: assassinated on February 21, 1965 by Norman Butler, Thomas Johnson and Talmadge Hyer

Malcolm X was an African-American Muslim spiritual leader and human rights activist. To his fans, he was a courageous defender of black rights, a man who indicted white America for the worst crimes against black Americans. Detractors accused him of promoting racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.

Pictured: Malcolm X

In 1964, disillusioned with the Nation of Islam and its leader Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm ultimately abandoned the Nation and its teachings. He converted to Sunni Islam and, after a period of travel in Africa and the Middle East, returned to the United States to found a religious organization, the Islamic Mosque Corporation, and a secular group called the Organization of African American Unity. Although he continued to promote the ideas of Pan-Africanism, black self-determination and black self-defense, he disavowed racism, saying: “As a [black] Muslim, I have done many things that I now regret. Then I was a zombie... I followed the path that they sent me.”

Photo: Malcolm X's body on stage at Manhattan's Audubon Ballroom.

In February 1965, shortly after abandoning the Nation of Islam, he was assassinated by three members of the organization. The photo shows the scene immediately after the shots were fired, with bullet holes outlined in chalk in the background.

Dangerous flights

A number of original political assassinations were associated with flights on private planes. For example, on August 17, 1988, a plane carrying the current President of Pakistan, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, crashed near the city of Lahore (Pakistan). To investigate the circumstances of the disaster, Pakistani intelligence services brought in specialists from the United States.

During the examination of the wreckage of the plane, it turned out that its fall was not accidental. Remains of an explosive (pentaritritol tetranitrate) and fragments of a container for transporting gases were found on board. Two theories immediately arose: according to the first, an explosive device went off on board at some point, and according to the second, a gas container was broken in the pilot’s cabin, causing the plane to lose control and crash.

No technical problems were found in the aircraft, especially since the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, which belonged to Zia-ul-Haq, was considered a very reliable machine. In principle, such an “air murder” is similar to a bomb planted under a car (this is how, for example, the famous Chechen separatist Zelimkhan Yandarbiev died). But you must admit: causing a plane crash is much more romantic and reliable.

Another famous case of death in the air is the assassination of Mozambican President Samora Machel in the fall of 1986. Machel's plane (a Soviet Tu-134 with a Soviet crew) was heading home from Zambia, where the president was paying a business visit. The landing was planned at the airfield of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique.

But some unknown persons (most likely, representatives of the South African intelligence services) installed a false radio beacon on the plane’s route, operating on the same frequency as the Maputo lighthouse. As a result, the plane took the wrong course and crashed into a mountain. However, all this could be insinuations - the pilots could well have made a mistake.

There was also a case in the history of Africa when two birds with one stone were killed with one stone. Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamire and Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana were on the same plane when it was shot down by unidentified separatists near Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. However, this is a dark story.

Assassination of Martin Luther King - 1968

Martin Luther King, US civil rights leader: assassinated on April 4, 1968 by James Earl Ray

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader of the African-American civil rights movement. Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Photo: Members of King's group gesturing in the direction where the shots came from.

On April 4, 1968, an assassination attempt was made on 39-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, after which he was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital and pronounced dead at 7:05 that evening.

On June 8, 1968, in London, at Heathrow Airport, James Earl Ray, who escaped from a Missouri state prison, was arrested, extradited to the United States, and charged with a crime. On March 10, 1969, Ray entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 99 years in Tennessee State Penitentiary.

Ray later made many attempts to retract his confession and get a jury trial, but to no avail; he died in prison on April 23, 1998, aged 70.

See also: What songs about the USSR were sung by Western pop stars

Pictured: Earl Ray

Killer drones

The level of technical equipment in a murder reaches its maximum level if the murder is organized by special services. On January 1, 2009, a homing missile fired from an unmanned aircraft killed Osama al-Kimi, the Kenyan-born warlord who organized the terrorist attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.

Unmanned vehicles for this type of operation (Predator or Reaper) are launched from a US base in Baluchistan and controlled by an operator working on the other side of the world, at a naval base near Las Vegas. How do drones find their target? Mainly with the help of spies from local residents.

For not too much money, representatives of the local population are willing to plant a special chip in the victim’s house (and sometimes even in their pocket), made in the shape of a cigarette or a lighter—the warhead is oriented to such a chip. In 2009, the Taliban posted a scandalous video on the Internet in which 19-year-old Habib ur Rehman, who worked as a servant in the house of one of the leaders of the Pakistani terrorist network, admitted that he was paid £166 for delivering a target chip. At the end of the video, Rehman was killed.

So even American high-tech still cannot do without human participation.

On the route of the motorcade, an ordinary bicycle was placed, on the trunk of which a bicycle backpack with 20 kg of explosives was secured. In order for the bomb to explode on time, it was equipped with an infrared radiation sensor; an emitter was installed in the roadside bushes, which was turned on after the first car passed, and when the second car crossed the beam with its front bumper, the bomb went off. To hit the passenger protected by the rear door of the Mercedes, a delay of several milliseconds was introduced.

But there was another problem. The Mercedes was not driving close to the edge of the road: there was about three-quarters of a lane between it and the bicycle, and the car's armor was strong enough to protect the passenger from a nearby explosion from an improvised explosive device. Therefore, when constructing the bomb, the killers used the so-called impact core principle.

This is one of the varieties of the cumulative effect, when the explosive has an obtuse-angled conical or spherical recess covered with a metal lining (the simplest option is a flat plate covering the explosive charge). In this case, detonation begins from the axis of the explosive; when exposed to the detonation wave, the lining is turned inside out.

The entire metal lining forms a projectile with a smaller diameter than the original “caliber”, but flying at high speed - up to 2-2.5 km/s. This is the impact core, which is used in some high-tech ammunition to penetrate armor. The impact core does not lose its armor-piercing properties even at long distances (in the case of correctly designed ammunition - about a thousand charge diameters).

In this case, the charge was not optimized, but it also required hitting the target at a much shorter distance. The cladding can be made from various metals; in the Herrhausen case, a flat (or almost flat) copper plate weighing about 3 kg was used, located between the charge and the road.

Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy - 1968

Robert F. Kennedy, senator, US presidential candidate: assassinated June 5, 1968 by Sirhan Sirhan

The assassination of Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy, a United States senator and brother of slain President John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, occurred shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, in Los Angeles, California, during the presidential election campaign.

In the photo: Kennedy is still alive lying on the ground, the photo was taken in the first seconds after the shot

After winning the primary elections in California and South Dakota, Democratic candidate for President of the United States Kennedy was shot in the Ambassador Hotel buffet and died at Good Samaritan Hospital twenty-six hours later.

A Jordanian immigrant, 24-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan, was found guilty of Kennedy's murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment for his crime. Sirhan's lawyers released a statement claiming the evidence was falsified. The shooting was recorded on audiotape by a freelance newspaper reporter, and the events immediately following the shooting were captured on photographic film.

The Assassination of Aldo Moro - 1978

Aldo Moro, Prime Minister of Italy: assassinated on May 9, 1978 by Mario Moretti of the Red Brigades

Aldo Moro was an Italian Christian Democratic politician and the 38th Prime Minister of Italy. He was one of the longest-serving prime ministers of post-war Italy, leading the country for a total of more than six years.

Pictured: Aldo Moro

The leader of the Christian Democrats, Moro, was considered an intellectual and a consistent peace-lover, especially in the internal life of his party. He was kidnapped on March 16, 1978 by members of the underground Marxist-Leninist organization "Red Brigades" and killed after 55 days of captivity.

In the photo: Italian left-wing terrorist, one of the leaders of the Red Brigades, organizer of the kidnapping and murder of former Italian Prime Minister Mario Moretti

The photograph shows traces of blood left on the asphalt after Aldo Moro was shot by members of the Red Brigades.

John Lennon Assassination - 1980

John Lennon, musician: killed December 8, 1980 by Mark David Chapman

One of the founders and member of The Beatles, a popular musician of the 20th century. After the breakup of The Beatles, he began a solo career.

In addition to his musical activities, Lennon was also known as a political activist. He expressed his views both in songs and in public speeches. The famous song “Imagine” expresses Lennon’s thoughts about how the world should be structured. Lennon preached the ideas of equality and brotherhood of people, peace, freedom. This made him a hippie idol and one of the most significant public figures of the 1960s and 1970s.

Lennon was shot and killed by Chapman under the archway of the Dakota Building where he lived in New York City on Monday, December 8, 1980, as he and his wife Yoko Ono were returning from Record Plant studios.

Lennon is photographed signing the Double Fantasy album for Chapman hours before his murder.

Pictured: Chapman at the New York Police Department on December 9, 1980

World history of poisoning

A rare but high-tech type of political murder is poisoning. No, we are not talking about Caesar Borgia, who killed his enemies with a poisoned ring while shaking their hand, but about our time.

The most famous murder by poison was the “umbrella injection”, which killed the Bulgarian writer and journalist Georgi Markov, a dissident living in London. On September 7, 1978, Markov left work and on the way to his car he tripped over someone’s umbrella. He felt a pang; the man with the umbrella apologized, the incident was over. But by the evening Markov became ill, and three days later, on September 11, he died.

When the body was opened, an implanted capsule with ricin was found under the skin approximately at the injection site. Ricin is a protein toxin whose lethal dose for humans is about 0.3 mg/kg. Using an umbrella prick, the microcapsule was introduced into Markov's body and delivered the poison directly into the blood. If detected in time, the journalist could have been saved. It is perhaps difficult to find a more exotic murder in the 20th century.

Another well-known case is the death in London of former Russian FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko. He died on November 23, 2006 as a result of poisoning with a rather rare substance - polonium-210, which is not easy to obtain, and it is simply impossible to accidentally ingest it.

210Po is synthesized artificially by irradiating bismuth-209 with neutrons, and is used to create compact radioisotope energy sources, which are used as power plants for some spacecraft (and sometimes for heating, as was done on Lunokhod-2 to maintain the operating temperature of scientific instruments).

Assassination of Anwar Sadat - 1981

Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt: assassinated on October 6, 1981 by Khaled Islambouli

The assassination of Anwar Sadat occurred on October 6, 1981. Anwar Sadat, the President of Egypt, was assassinated in Cairo during the annual Victory Parade to celebrate the transition of the Suez Canal to Egyptian jurisdiction.

Towards the end of the parade, an artillery truck, which was moving across the square in a formation of military equipment, suddenly braked. The occupant, Lieutenant Khaled Ahmed al-Islambuli, in paratrooper uniform, jumped from the vehicle and threw a hand grenade towards the podium. It exploded before reaching its target. A few seconds later, five more paratroopers jumped from the truck platform and opened machine-gun fire at the government podium. The panic began. Sadat turned out to be a target for a sniper: bullets pierced his neck and chest, hitting the pulmonary artery.

The mortally wounded president was sent by helicopter to a military hospital, where he died a few minutes later on the operating table.

During the resulting shootout, some members of the government and foreign guests present at the parade were killed or wounded - in total, including the head of state, 7 people were killed and 28 were wounded.

The assassination of Sadat was organized by the terrorist groups of Islamic fundamentalists Al-Gamaa al-Islamiya and Egyptian Islamic Jihad: it was revenge for rapprochement with Israel and refusal of further “Islamization” of society.

Islambouli and four of his accomplices were put on trial on charges of murdering Sadat. Twenty more Egyptians were involved in the plot.

In the photo: Khaled Ahmed al-Islambouli

Assassination of Indira Gandhi - 1984

Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India: assassinated on October 31, 1984 by Satwant Singh and Beant Singh

Indira Gandhi became the first woman prime minister of India and a central figure in the Indian National Congress party. Gandhi, who served as prime minister from 1966 to 1977 and again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, is India's second-longest serving prime minister and the only woman to hold the position.

She was killed by two of her Sikh bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, as revenge for Operation Blue Star, in which the Indian Army attacked Amritsar in June 1984 and heavily damaged the Sikh Golden Temple. Over the next four days of the punitive operation, thousands of Sikhs were killed.

See also: What personal computers looked like in the 2000s

Since there is no documentary evidence left of the assassination of Indira Gandhi, we can only guess what the execution of the Prime Minister looked like. The picture depicts how the crime was supposedly committed.

Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement: assassinated on January 30, 1948 by Nathuram Godse

Mahatma Gandhi was a prominent leader of the Indian independence movement during the British rule of the country. Using nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired civil rights and freedom movements around the world. He was assassinated at Birla House in New Delhi on January 30, 1948.

About to hold a prayer meeting, Gandhi was standing on the steps surrounded by his family members and some followers when Hindu nationalist militant Nathuram Godse approached him and shot him three times in the chest at close range. Gandhi was carried into Birla House where he died. Before his death, Mahatma Gandhi survived five unsuccessful assassination attempts, the first of which took place in 1934.

Modern curiosities

Quite often, assassins choose exotic methods to bring their dark plans to life. High technologies are rarely used, but it is very interesting to consider such murders as curiosities.

For example, Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh in 2003, in the twenty-first century, was stabbed to death with an ordinary knife in a supermarket in the very center of Stockholm! The killer turned out to be just mentally ill, but it is amazing that he was completely able to approach such a high-ranking person within striking distance and deliver this blow. The death of the Ukrainian political figure Evgeniy Kushnarev looks no less archaic.

In January 2007, the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Legal Policy was killed by an accidental (!) shot during a hunt. It was announced that the shot was fired by Kharkov deputy Dmitry Zavalny, but the diameter of the wound, as it turned out, did not correspond to the caliber of Zavalny’s carbine...

Polonium-210 is radioactive (half-life about 138 days). It is an alpha emitter, and so active that it causes radiation damage even upon contact with the skin, not to mention if it enters the body. The lethal dose of polonium for humans when ingested through the digestive tract is estimated at several micrograms.

But let's return to Litvinenko. On November 1, 2006, he, who had already received English citizenship by that time, held a number of business meetings, and in the evening he was supposed to go to the CSKA - Arsenal football match. But Litvinenko did not attend the match because he felt unwell and was hospitalized.

Every day his condition worsened. Until November 20, there was a version about thallium poisoning, but then a version about poisoning with a certain radioactive substance also arose. The substance itself - polonium-210 - was identified only on November 23, the day of Litvinenko’s death, after traces of it were found in tests.

How polonium entered the dissident’s body is unknown. Most likely, it was added to the food by someone with whom Litvinenko communicated on November 1, 2006 or a few days before that. The greatest suspicion falls on the Italian human rights activist Mario Scaramella, with whom Litvinenko met at about 2 pm in a sushi bar. But no evidence can be found. Only one thing can be said: only a very influential person can get hold of polonium-210.

Murder of Olof Palme - 1986

Olof Palme, Prime Minister of Sweden: assassinated on February 28, 1986. Killer not found

Olof Palme was killed on the main street of Stockholm. That day, he and his wife Lisbeth were returning late in the evening from the Grand cinema, located on Sveavägen street at house 45. They did not have bodyguards with them, since Palme liked to walk around the city without them. When the couple approached the intersection with Tunnelgatan Street, they were approached by a lone man who fired twice, as has now been clearly established by the investigation, from a Smith & Wesson revolver.

This murder has still not been solved and is one of the biggest mysteries of modern Sweden.

The main suspect was Christer Pettersson (1947–2004), who was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment in 1989, but was later released. It was never possible to prove his guilt, although Pettersson himself repeatedly confirmed and denied his guilt. Currently, there are versions that Pettersson was framed and that he shot the prime minister through negligence.

Pettersson died from head injuries received under unclear circumstances in September 2004.

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Murder of Vlad Listyev - 1995

Vladislav Listyev, general director of the ORT television channel: killed on March 1, 1995, killer not found

Vladislav Listyev was killed in the entrance of his house on Novokuznetskaya Street. The first bullet hit the hand, the second - the head. Valuables and a large amount of cash in his possession remained untouched, leading investigators in the case to believe the murder was related to the TV presenter's business or political activities. Despite numerous statements by law enforcement agencies that the case is close to being solved, neither the killers nor the masterminds have been found.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin made a statement regarding Listyev's murder. “This is a tragedy for all of Russia, Moscow is a place of gang murders. We need to toughen up the fight, I bow my head low to you, as a culprit who failed to cope with crime.”

Political assassinations in modern Russia

On the night of February 28, opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was killed in Moscow. The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation opened a criminal case under articles “Murder” and “Illegal trafficking in weapons.” It was not possible to detain the suspects in hot pursuit; no detailed official versions have yet been put forward about the motives for the murder and the identities of those who ordered it. The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs told journalists that various versions were being considered, from political motives to personal hostility.

Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the heads of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB of Russia to create an investigative group to investigate the murder and take its work under personal control. According to Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, Putin said that the crime “has all the signs of being ordered and is exclusively provocative in nature.”

This is not the first time that Russian public and political figures have died at the hands of criminals. History shows that it is not always possible to solve a crime, despite the assurances of the authorities. And those responsible for maintaining order in the country lost their posts due to high-profile murders only in the 1990s.

Vladislav Listyev

1956–1995. Murder unsolved

Photo: Reuters

In 1982, 26-year-old Listyev went to work at the USSR State Radio and Television, and in 1987 he moved to Central Television and became one of the hosts of the newly created information and music program “Vzglyad”. In December 1990, the program found itself at the center of a scandal: the management of the USSR State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company banned the release of the New Year's edition. This was motivated by the undesirability of discussing the resignation of USSR Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze. In January 1991, with the participation of the creators of Vzglyad, a demonstration was organized in defense of glasnost. About 500 thousand people took part in it. After this, the program was released with interruptions and name changes. Only in 1994 did Vzglyad begin to appear in an updated format as an information and analytical program (the program was finally closed in 2001).

In 1988, Listyev, together with his colleagues, founded a television that produced not only “Vzglyad”, but also other programs. In 1991, Listyev became the general producer, and in 1993, the president of VID. Under his leadership, the programs “Field of Miracles”, “Theme”, “Rush Hour”, “Star Hour”, “L-Club”, “Silver Ball” and “Guess the Melody” were created. In 1995, he left VID and became the general director of a new television company, ORT.

On the evening of March 1, 1995, Listyev was returning from filming the program “Rush Hour.” At the entrance of a house on Novokuznetskaya Street in Moscow, he was met by a killer. One bullet hit Listyev in the head, and one in the arm. The killer did not touch the money and valuables that were with the journalist.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin, commenting on the incident, expressed condolences and said that in connection with the incident he had removed a number of high-ranking law enforcement officials from their positions.

Subsequently, law enforcement agencies have repeatedly stated that Listyev’s murder is close to being solved. However, the identities of the performers and customers have not yet been revealed. Investigator Boris Uvarov claimed that he once reported to the Prosecutor General’s Office about the results of the investigation and asked to sign sanctions for arrests and searches. Immediately after this he was forcibly sent on leave.

Over the past years, some criminals have confessed to Listyev’s murder, but then retracted their testimony. Many famous personalities came forward with versions about those who ordered the murder (in particular, the version about the involvement of businessman Boris Berezovsky, who committed suicide in 2013, in the crime was widely discussed). None of these versions were officially confirmed, and in 2006 the investigation into the case was suspended.

The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, formed in 2007 as a separate division of the prosecutor's office, and in 2011 completely separated from its composition, has repeatedly assured the public of its intention to bring the investigation to the end. Thus, in 2013, the official representative of the RF Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, said: “It’s too early to put an end to this matter, it cannot be terminated. The investigation of the criminal case has been suspended, while instructions have been given to the operational services, and as soon as significant information appears, the investigation will be resumed. So the work continues."

Galina Starovoitova

1946–1998. So far only the perpetrators have been convicted


Galina Starovoitova worked in Soviet times as an engineer-sociologist at enterprises and was engaged in scientific activities. In 1989 she was elected people's deputy of the USSR, in 1990 - people's deputy of the RSFSR and became a member of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Committee on Human Rights. In 1995, Starovoitova was elected to the State Duma.

The deputy participated in the development of laws “On the rehabilitation of victims of political repression”, “On alternative civil service”, “On freedom of conscience and religious associations” and many others. She was involved in monitoring the use of budget funds and helped return Russian military personnel from Chechen captivity.

Starovoitova repeatedly received threatening calls and was greatly afraid for the life of her son. On the evening of October 20, 1998, she flew from Moscow to St. Petersburg, visited her parents with her assistant Ruslan Linkov, and then headed to her house on the embankment of the Griboyedov Canal. At the entrance to Starovoitova’s house, she was shot dead, and Linkov was seriously wounded in the head.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin, commenting on what happened, said: “Her murder is a challenge to all honest people of Russia. It is our duty to find and punish the murderers. And our duty is to continue the cause of democracy, to which Galina Vasilievna dedicated herself. In this bitter hour, please accept my most sincere condolences.”

In 2005, the organizer of the murder, Yuri Kolchin, received 20 years in prison, one of the perpetrators, Vitaly Akinshin, received 23.5 years in prison. Another alleged perpetrator, Oleg Fedosov, remains wanted. Already in the colony, Kolchin stated that the orderer of Starovoytova’s murder was Mikhail Glushchenko, nicknamed Misha Khokhol, who was part of the Tambov criminal group. He was a State Duma deputy of the same convocation as Starovoitova.

However, it was not possible to find confirmation of Kolchin’s testimony. In 2012, Glushchenko was sentenced to eight years in prison on another case of extortion. In 2014, Glushchenko himself admitted to involvement in the murder of Starovoytova. However, he stated that it was not he who allegedly ordered the crime, but the leader of the Tambov criminal group, Vladimir Barsukov (Kumarin), who has been serving a 15-year sentence for other crimes since 2012. Glushchenko himself has already been charged with involvement in the murder of Starovoytova, but the investigation has not yet been completed.

Pavel Khlebnikov

1963–2004. The murder is solved, no one is punished


Pavel (Paul) Khlebnikov was born in the USA - his family left Russia after the 1917 revolution. Nevertheless, emigrants continued to be interested in their historical homeland for several generations. In 1985, Khlebnikov defended his dissertation in London on the topic “Personnel Policy of the CPSU, 1918–1985.”

Since 1989, Khlebnikov worked for Forbes magazine. He wrote about the work of international industrial companies, but in the 1990s he began to specialize in the emerging Russian business. At the same time, he continued to engage in science, defending a dissertation in 1991 on the topic “Stolypin’s agrarian reform and economic development of Russia, 1906–1917.”

In 1996, Klebnikov published an article in Forbes, “The Godfather of the Kremlin?”, in which he accused Boris Berezovsky of fraud, connections with the Chechen mafia and contract killings. Berezovsky sued the journalist, but in the end only one accusation was recognized as slander - that of involvement in the murder of Vladislav Listyev. As a result, Berezovsky was not awarded compensation, a refutation of the article was not published, and in 2000, Khlebnikov outlined the same thoughts in the book “The Godfather of the Kremlin: Boris Berezovsky and the Plunder of Russia.”

In 2003, Khlebnikov’s book “Conversation with a Barbarian” was published, based on a conversation with the Chechen field commander Khozh-Akhmed Nukhaev.

At the beginning of 2004, Khlebnikov headed the Russian version of Forbes magazine. In May, the magazine published for the first time a list of the richest people in Russia. Four issues of the magazine were published under the editorship of Pavel. On the evening of July 9, 2004, Klebnikov was shot near the editorial office - he left the building and was heading to the Botanical Garden metro station. The criminals drove up in a VAZ-2115 car and opened fire with a submachine gun. They managed to take the wounded journalist to the hospital, but on the way to the intensive care unit, doctors and the patient got stuck in the elevator. It was there that death occurred.

After the murder, Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a personal meeting, expressed condolences to the widow and brother of the deceased. Later, Putin recalled the “Klebnikov case” when he was asked a question about Politkovskaya: “Ms. Politkovskaya had American citizenship and was a critic of the Russian government... Mr. Paul Klebnikov was of Russian origin, but was an American journalist and criticized precisely those people who are leading the armed struggle with federal authorities. He was also killed, why are we forgetting about him?”

The same Khozh-Akhmed Nukhaev, who became the hero of the book “Conversation with a Barbarian,” was accused of organizing the murder. It was assumed that he was dissatisfied with the conclusions drawn in the book. The perpetrators of the crime were considered to be natives of Chechnya Kazbek Dukuzov and Musa Vakhaev. The alleged perpetrators were detained, and Nukhaev was put on the wanted list. In 2006, the court acquitted the perpetrators. This decision was appealed by the prosecutor's office and the relatives of the deceased. The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation overturned the acquittal and sent the case for further investigation. Meanwhile, Dukuzov, who was under recognizance not to leave the place, disappeared from the investigation.

No new sentencing was announced. Dukuzov was found in prison in the UAE at the beginning of 2015: he is serving a sentence for robbery. Russian law enforcement agencies sent an extradition request to the UAE.

As for the mastermind of the crime, the version about Khozh-Akhmed Nukhaev has been criticized. Some media outlets claim that he was allegedly killed in Dagestan in February or March 2004, that is, before Klebnikov’s death.

Anna Politkovskaya

1958–2006. Only the perpetrators were convicted

Photo: © ITAR-TASS

Anna Politkovskaya has worked for the newspapers Izvestia and Vozdushny Transport since 1982, and in 1993–1994 for the weekly Megapolis Express. In 1994 she moved to Obshchaya Gazeta, and in 1999 to Novaya Gazeta. She wrote a lot about the second Chechen war and repeatedly traveled to the combat zone. Since 2000, the journalist has published several books about the situation in Chechnya. In addition, her books “Putin's Russia” and “Russia without Putin” were published by British publishers.

Politkovskaya defended the Chechen militants, calling them a “resistance movement,” and called for international peacekeeping forces to be sent to Chechnya. She was also involved in human rights activities, helping the mothers of dead soldiers and victims of the terrorist attack in Nord-Ost. She actively criticized the Russian army, calling it a prison structure, and investigated cases of hazing in the troops and corruption in the Russian Ministry of Defense. The journalist wrote: “Why did I dislike Putin? That's why I disliked it. For simplicity, which is worse than theft. For cynicism. For racism. For an endless war. For lying. For gas at Nord-Ost. For the corpses of innocent victims that accompanied his entire first term.”

On October 7, 2006, Politkovskaya was shot and killed in the elevator of her Moscow building. Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on the crime as follows: “This murder in itself causes the current government both in Russia and in the Chechen Republic, which it has been involved in professionally recently, much more damage and harm than its publications.”

Brothers Rustam, Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov, their uncle Lom-Ali Gaitukaev, as well as former police officers Sergei Khadzhikurbanov and Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov were detained on suspicion of murder. According to investigators, Khadzhikurbanov, Gaitukaev and Pavlyuchenkov organized the crime, Rustam directly fired the shot, and his brothers helped him.

In 2009, the court acquitted the accused, and the case was sent for further investigation. Pavlyuchenkov later made a deal with the investigation; in 2012, he was tried separately from his accomplices and sentenced to 11 years in prison. In June 2014, Rustam Makhmudov and Gaitukayev were sentenced to life imprisonment, Ibragim and Dzhabrail Makhmudov to 12 and 14 years, respectively, and Khadzhikurbanov to 20 years in prison.

The masterminds of the crime remained unidentified. Pavlyuchenkov claimed that the murder was ordered by the former emissary of Chechen militants Akhmed Zakaev and businessman Boris Berezovsky. But Politkovskaya's relatives and friends do not agree with this version.

Andrey Kozlov

1965–2006. Murder solved


Andrei Kozlov began his career in 1989 at the State Bank of the USSR, and since 2002 he served as the first chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. It was at that time that the bank began a campaign against money laundering and illegal cash withdrawals. Kozlov himself described his work as follows: “We are forest orderlies, they don’t like forest orderlies, but someone has to do it, and we do it.”

On the evening of September 13, 2006, Kozlov attended a corporate football match. When he approached the car after the event, fire was opened on it. The driver died on the spot, and Kozlov died in the hospital on the morning of September 14.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that this crime is the result of “an aggravation of the situation in the fight against crime in the economic sphere.”

Already in October 2006, three alleged perpetrators of the murder, Ukrainian citizens Alexey Polovinkin, Maxim Proglyada and Alexander Belokopytov, were detained. Liana Askerova, Boris Shafrai and Bogdan Pogorzhevsky were detained on suspicion of complicity.

In January 2007, Alexey Frenkel, the former chairman of the board of VIP Bank, was detained on suspicion of ordering a crime. Previously, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation did not allow VIP Bank into the deposit insurance system for individuals, and therefore Frenkel had to leave the post of chairman of the board and start another business. According to investigators, he decided to take revenge on Kozlov. He himself did not admit his guilt.

In 2008, Frenkel was sentenced to 19 years in prison, Polovinkin received a life sentence. The remaining defendants in the case were also sentenced to various terms of imprisonment.

In December 2008, law enforcement agencies also detained Andrei Kosmynin, who was considered the organizer of the murder. In 2010, he was sentenced to nine years in prison. Kosmynin admitted his guilt and stated that the customer did not give him complete information about the identity of the victim. The organizer believed that he had been ordered to kill a businessman who owed a large sum of money.

Alexander Litvinenko

1962–2006. Murder unsolved


Alexander Litvinenko began serving in 1980 in the Internal Troops of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs, in 1988 he transferred to the KGB of the USSR, and from 1991 he served in the FSB of the Russian Federation, where he received the rank of lieutenant colonel. He took part in combat operations in hot spots.

In 1994, Litvinenko was investigating a failed assassination attempt on businessman Boris Berezovsky. Thus, an acquaintance began between them. In 1998, Litvinenko, along with several colleagues, held a press conference in Moscow, during which he stated that in 1997, the leadership gave them the order to kill Berezovsky, who was called “a Jew who stole half the country.” According to Litvinenko, he and his colleagues refused to carry out the order, and therefore they began to be put under pressure and threatened with violence.

The leadership of the FSB of the Russian Federation responded that no such order was given to anyone. At the same time, counter-accusations were brought against Litvinenko and his colleagues: they were allegedly involved in kidnappings and beatings of people. Against the background of the scandal, the director of the FSB of the Russian Federation, Nikolai Kovalev (now he is a State Duma deputy), was fired. Litvinenko went to work at the CIS Executive Secretariat (it was then headed by Berezovsky).

Litvinenko claimed that a week after the press conference there was an unsuccessful attempt on his life. And in 1999 he was arrested on suspicion of abuse of power. He was soon acquitted by the court, but a new case was immediately opened against him. In 2000, this case was closed, but a third one was immediately opened. At the same time, Litvinenko was released on his own recognizance. He immediately left for the UK, where he received political asylum, and in the meantime a fourth case was opened against him in Russia. In 2002, Litvinenko was tried in absentia and sentenced to three and a half years of probation.

In Great Britain, Litvinenko received benefits from a fund controlled by Berezovsky, and also acted as a consultant and intermediary between Russian and British firms. In 2003, Litvinenko claimed that former colleagues from the Russian FSB allegedly offered him to participate in the assassination attempt on Putin. However, he refused and wrote a statement to the police. At the same time, Litvinenko participated in writing the book “The FSB Blows Up Russia,” which sets out the version of the involvement of the special services in the explosions of residential buildings in the fall of 1999. The first edition of the book was published in 2002.

In February 2006, Litvinenko posted an article on one of the Chechen separatist websites in which he accused the Russian FSB of involvement in the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. In October of the same year he received British citizenship. In the same month, Litvinenko spoke about threats against the murdered Anna Politkovskaya, allegedly coming from Vladimir Putin.

On November 1, 2006, Litvinenko met in a sushi bar with Italian Mario Scaramella, who promised to give him some information about the murder of Politkovskaya. After that, he briefly went to Berezovsky's office. Then he met at the hotel with his acquaintance, businessman Andrei Lugovoy, who in the past worked in the Main Directorate of Security of the Russian Federation, and was also the head of the security service of the ORT television channel and Berezovsky’s security guard.

That evening, Litvinenko felt unwell. Doctors suspected that he was poisoned with thallium. Only 20 days later, doctors changed the diagnosis, suspecting poisoning with a radioactive substance. Shortly thereafter, on November 23, Litvinenko died. Three hours before death, the type of toxic substance was determined: polonium. On December 7, Litvinenko was buried in a closed sarcophagus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “the death of a person is always a tragedy,” but Fr.

Scotland Yard suspected Lugovoy of murder, but in 2007 the Russian Prosecutor General's Office refused to extradite him, citing a lack of evidence. Lugovoi himself became a State Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party that same year.

Natalia Estemirova

1958–2009. Murder unsolved


Natalya Estemirova was a teacher in one of the schools in Grozny until 1998, and then took up human rights activities. In 2000, she began working in the Grozny branch of the human rights organization. She was also a member of the Commission on Conditions of Detention in Places of Deprivation of Liberty.

On the morning of July 15, 2009, Estemirova was kidnapped near her home in Grozny. Two witnesses saw that she was pushed into a white VAZ car, and she screamed that she was being kidnapped. Early in the evening of the same day, Estemirova’s body with gunshot wounds was found near the Caucasus federal highway in Ingushetia.

Chairman of the Memorial board Oleg Orlov claimed that Estemirova was threatened by the head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov. In an official statement from the human rights group.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed outrage at the murder and demanded that all necessary measures be taken to investigate. Kadyrov called the crime “monstrous” and promised to personally supervise the search for the perpetrators. He commented on Orlov’s accusations with the words: “You will be ashamed when this turns out to be untrue.”

At first, a gang of Chechen militant Islam Uspakhadzhiev was suspected of the murder. Then it was announced that a certain Alkhazur Bashaev (and possibly his brothers) was suspected of the crime. In the summer of 2013, Memorial management announced that, according to their information, the investigation had been unofficially suspended. “It is not maintained, it is not archived, but it has not become available to relatives. It is the same as most cases of serious crimes in the Caucasus,” explained Alexander Cherkasov, chairman of the Memorial board.

Sergei Magnitsky

1972–2009 Not classified as murder

Since 1995, Sergei Magnitsky has worked for the consulting company Firestone Duncan (ZAO Firestone Duncan), founded by two American lawyers.

In 2004, a tax evasion case was opened in Kalmykia against the management of a certain Cameo LLC. In connection with this case, a search was conducted at Firestone Duncan in 2007, but in the end documents related not to Cameo, but to the investment fund Hermitage Capital Management (Firestone Duncan provided legal services to him) were seized. In 2008, a tax evasion case was opened against the head of this fund, international financier William Browder. That same year, Magnitsky was detained as part of this case, and a preventive measure was chosen for him in the form of arrest.

Magnitsky himself claimed that he had uncovered a scheme to steal 5.4 billion rubles from the budget. Allegedly, the money was embezzled by law enforcement officers with the help of the tax service.

In 2009, in the Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention center (the only Moscow detention center with a full-fledged hospital), Magnitsky became ill. Doctors said he was suffering from gallstones. After this, the prisoner was transferred to the Butyrsky pre-trial detention center, where there is no hospital. Soon he became worse, and he was again sent to the Matrosskaya Tishina hospital. Magnitsky died there on November 16, 2009. It turned out that he suffered from acute pancreatitis.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, answering questions from journalists, said that the death of a person is always a tragedy, but he does not know the details of what happened.

Lawyers said the prisoner's death was the result of failure to provide medical care. It turned out that Magnitsky managed to write about a hundred complaints about the lack of assistance and poor living conditions.

The defendants in the criminal case for negligence and failure to provide medical care were the doctor of the Butyrsky pre-trial detention center, Larisa Litvinova, and the deputy head of the detention center, Dmitry Kratov. The Litvinova case was closed in 2012 due to the expiration of the statute of limitations, and Kratov was acquitted.

In 2013, Browder was sentenced in absentia to nine years in prison. Magnitsky was also posthumously found guilty of developing a tax evasion scheme, and his relatives were denied posthumous rehabilitation. It was announced that the actions of the defendants in the criminal case caused damage to the Russian budget in the amount of 522 million rubles.

Magnitsky's death caused widespread resonance. In the United States, in December 2012, the “Magnitsky Act” (also known as the “Magnitsky list”) was adopted, prohibiting entry into the country and blocking the assets of Russian citizens allegedly involved in the death of a lawyer.

Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin - 1995

Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli political and military leader: assassinated on November 4, 1995 by Yigal Amir

On November 4, 1995, when, after speaking at a rally of thousands in support of the peace process in the Square of the Kings of Israel in Tel Aviv, Yitzhak Rabin was approaching his car, three shots were fired at him. 40 minutes later he died from his wounds in the Ichilov hospital.

A few minutes before the assassination attempt, Rabin sang the “Song of Peace.” The bloody piece of paper with the lyrics of this song was subsequently filed with the case.

In the photo: 1 - Yitzhak Rabin, 2 - Yigal Amir, 3 - bodyguard.

The killer was caught right at the scene of the crime, with a pistol in his hand. “I did my job,” the prime minister’s killers said to one of the guards who detained him, “now you do yours.”

The killer, Yigal Amir, a far-right religious and political extremist, motivated his actions by saying that he was “protecting the people of Israel from the Oslo Accords.”

In the photo: Yigal Amir

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