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Old 01-16-2013   #1
bourbon
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Default Ded Hassan Assassinated

Ded Dead: the assassination of Russian crime boss Aslan Usoyan (‘Ded Khasan’), Mark Galeotti. In Moscow's Shadows, 16 January 2013.
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News is just breaking that Russian (actually Kurdish Yezidi from Georgia) crime boss Aslan Usoyan (‘Ded Hasan’ or ‘Ded Khasan’ — ‘Grandfather Hassan’) was shot and killed last night in Moscow. Apparently a sniper took him down (some say with a head shot, but probably multiple hits) as he was leaving a restaurant (initial accounts vary, but it was almost certainly the Stary faeton on Bolshaya Nikitskaya, known as his favored hang-out). He died in intensive care at the Botkin hospital.

While the details of the hit will emerge soon enough, the fundamentals are clear — another classic Russian mob killing, reflecting rising tensions within the national underworld as well as the prosecution of a long-running feud(s). The 75-year-old Usoyan was one of the foremost leaders within the Russian underworld, but at a time when that underworld is going through a process of realignment due to a number of forces, not least the increasing flow of Afghan heroin through the country. This was the third assassination attempt in his underworld career, after one in Sochi in 1998 and then another in Moscow in 2010. The latter was a result of his running feud with Georgian mobster Tariel Oniani (‘Taro’) who is currently in prison but still managing his extensive crime empire from behind bars. His feud with Oniani dates back at least to 2007 and has been one of the defining pressures within the Russian underworld.
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Old 01-16-2013   #2
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This will have repercussions from Western Europe to Central Asia. Expect further killings in Greece, Spain, France, or the UAE - and naturally in Russia and the South Caucasus.

Potential impact on Georgian domestic politics and Afghan heroin trafficking via the Northern Route.
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Old 01-23-2013   #3
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Default Retaliation in Abkahzia

From RFERL's Power Vertical blog - http://www.rferl.org/content/mob-war.../24879836.html
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And so it begins.

The assassins were waiting in a silver Mercedes as Astamur Guliya, a 31-year-old crime kingpin, left a restaurant in downtown Sukhumi. They opened fire as Guliya entered the parking lot, mortally wounding him.

It was impossible not to notice the similarities with the killing four days earlier of the legendary gangster Aslan Usoyan as he left a restaurant in central Moscow. It was also impossible not to notice that the hit took place on the same day that Usoyan was buried in the Russian capital, where hundreds of mob bosses from all over the former Soviet Union bid their farewells.

And it was impossible not to notice that like Usoyan, Guliya was a "vor v zakone," or "thief in law," the rough equivalent of a "made man" in the Russian and post-Soviet underworld.

But Usoyan and Guliya were very different types of made men.
Mark Galeotti's blog - http://inmoscowsshadows.wordpress.co...d-in-abkhazia/
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Could the murder of a no-more-than-moderately infamous local gangster in Abkhazia, Astamur Gulia, ‘Astik Sukhumski,’ mark the start of a wider gang war following the murder of Aslan Usoyan, ‘Ded Khasan’? Usoyan’s death inevitably sent shock waves through an underworld already in a degree of turmoil. The long-running feud between Usoyan and Tariel Oniani (‘Taro’), the hungry encroachments of Rovshan Janiyev (‘Rovshan Lenkoranskiy’) for dominance over the Caucasus gangsters, new disagreements with Zakhar Kalashov (‘Shakhro Junior’), sparked by rows over the distribution and management of his assets after he was arrested in Spain in 2006, all these helped ensure that the ‘mountaineers’ — the gangs from the North and South Caucasus — were increasingly at daggers’ drawn. However, it’s important to realize that for all the airtime they get, the ‘mountaineers’ do not comprise the majority of Russian organized crime and the extent to which there are wider, economic and political pressures also bearing down on the status quo that has held for the past decade.
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