Russia: Mayor Who Alleged Corruption Slain

 

A suburban mayor who accused local businessmen and officials of corruption on public television was killed Monday outside of his father's home.

An unknown assailant fired seven shots at Yevgeny Dushko, mayor of the Moscow suburb of Sergiyev Posad, as he departed yesterday morning for work at 7:30 am, regional investigators said in a statement.

Dushko died from wounds to the head and chest en route to the hospital.

“The killing can be linked to the official's work as well as to his previous entrepreneurial activity. The way the crime was committed also suggests it was a contract killing,“ said an independent  body of investigators.

No suspects have been named.

Dushko assumed office only four months ago in Sergeiyev Posad, a small town whose ancient Orthodox monastery draws pilgrims from all over the world.  At the beginning of his tenure, the 35-year-old said that clamping down on corruption was his top priority.

Locals told the Moscow Times that the young mayor had enemies in construction and public housing projects, which had been privatized by the previous mayor.  The local government released a statement after Dushko's death saying that their work towards more transparent public services had been a primary cause of his assasination.

“He crawled into such a foul place, tried to deal with our communal living system, deal with the communal debts, and it’s possible that it was namely this that stood behind the consequences,” Dushko's spokeswoman Olga Solnyshkina told Russian media.

Another potential factor was a squabble over who would profit from the upcoming 700th anniversary of a revered saint who founded Sergeyev Posad's monastery, writes Russia Profile.

A month ago, Dushko caused controversy when he appeared on television and publicly accused some businessmen and government officials of corruption, calling them  “scum” and “lowlifes.”

Russia is ranked as the world's most corrupt major economy, rated by anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International as 154th out of 178.