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Investigators see business activity as motive behind murder of Ukrainian public activist

September 20, 10:42 UTC+3
Yevgeny Zhilin, the leader of Ukrainian public association Oplot, was shot dead in a restaurant outside Moscow late on Monday
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Yevgeny Zhilin

Yevgeny Zhilin

© AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov

MOSCOW, September 20./TASS/. Investigators see business activity of the leader of Ukrainian public association Oplot, Yevgeny Zhilin, as the primary motive behind his murder outside Moscow on Monday.

"The investigationis looking into several possible motives for the crime. Commercial activity is the priority one, and personal enmity is not ruled either," a spokesperson for the Russian Investigative Committee’s central investigation department in the Moscow region, Olga Vradiy, told TASS.

Zhilin was shot dead in a restaurant in the Gorki-2 villa community outside Moscow late on Monday. His friend Andrei Kozyrev was gravely wounded.

"According to wounded man’s testimony, an appointment at the restaurant was fixed to settle business issues. At the moment, this information is being checked," Olga Vradiy said.

"It was established in the questioning of eyewitnesses, that the so-called killer had been waiting for them at a nearby table for about 20 minutes. After the men arrived at the restaurant and ordered food, the killer came up and made several shots," Vradiy went on.

She said the attacker was thoroughly made up, wearing false moustache, sports glasses with yellow non-reflective glass, and a beach hat that was covering his face. He was carrying a rucksack on his back.

"Three shells, one bullet and other objects important for further investigation of a criminal case were found on the scene," Vradiy said, adding that a forensic, ballistic and dactyloscopic expert evaluations were commissioned.

The friend of Yevgeny Zhilin, is in a critical condition, sources from a clinic in Odintsovo have told Tass.

Yevgeny Zhilin received acclaim in Ukraine at the end of 2013 and in the first months of 2014 as an opponent and critic of Euro-Maidan.

After the state coup of February 2014, he fled the country in the wake of threats with criminal prosecution.

Police said later the CCTV cameras had registered the killer. According to detectives, the crime had all the features of a contract murder and had been minutely planned in advance.

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