facebook
twitter
search
search

Russian mob boss gunned down in Moscow

Jan. 19, 2013 at 12:25 PM

MOSCOW, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The assassination of a mob boss in Moscow is not a sign that organized crime is making a comeback in Russia, experts on organized crime say.

Aslan Usoyan, 75, nicknamed "Gramps Khasan," was shot Wednesday as he left a restaurant, surrounded by bodyguards, RIA Novosti reported. Usoyan was described as one of the last of the crime bosses who got his start in the underground economy of the Soviet Union and became notorious in the 1990s as the Russian mob burst into the open.

No arrests have been made. Novosti said investigators believe Usoyan's killing may have been arranged by a rival from another organization.

Alexander Gurov, who battled organized crime in the 1980s as an agent of the Soviet Interior Ministry, said the Russian mob has, for the most part, achieved the kind of stability the Sicilian Mafia has in its homeland and the United States.

Bosses divide up territory and operate in certain parts of the economy, generally in illegal areas, while the police have the upper hand.

"It took the Sicilian mafia about two centuries, a few decades for the United States," Gurov said. "It took the Russian mafia two decades."

Vadim Volkov, a sociologist at the European University in St. Petersburg who studies the Russian mob, said "Organized crime has been marginalized in Russia in recent years, returning to the niche it is supposed to occupy."

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Wisconsin's Walker in hot seat over open-records restrictions
10-month-old Turkish baby rescued after floating out to sea
Putin congratulates U.S. on Independence Day
Immigrant who shot S.F. woman was deported 5 times in the past, police say
5-year-old Florida girl killed by leaping sturgeon