Police Catch Killer of Russian Diplomat in Abkhazia – Investigators© RIA Novosti. Dmitriy Vinogradov
MOSCOW, September 19 (RIA Novosti) – Georgian authorities have apprehended a man believed to have fatally shot a Russian diplomat and his wife earlier this month in Georgia’s breakaway republic of Abkhazia, a spokesman for Russia’s federal Investigative Committee said Thursday.
Yusup Lakayev, a native of the southern Russian city of Grozny, is suspected of shooting the senior Russian Embassy official as well as his wife in the garage of their home in Abkhazia’s capital, Sukhumi, around 8:30 a.m. on September 9, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said, adding that Russia was preparing a request for Lakayev’s extradition.
Dmitry Vishernyov, first secretary at the Russian Embassy in Sukhumi, was killed instantly by a gunshot to the head. His wife, Olga, was badly wounded in the attack and died five days later.
The suspect initially tried to detonate a homemade bomb next to the diplomat’s garage, the Investigative Committee spokesman said. But following the failure of that device – a five-liter fire extinguisher packed with nails and shards of wood – the suspect approached the couple in their car and shot them, the spokesman added.
Abkhazia broke away from Georgia following an ethnically tinged war in 1992-93, just after the Soviet collapse. More than a decade later, in 2008, Russia formally recognized the province as independent following a brief war over another disputed Georgian region, South Ossetia. Many Abkhaz now have Russian passports.
However, political violence has plagued Abkhazia. In February last year, the republic’s president, Alexander Ankvab, narrowly escaped a shooting and bomb attack on his motorcade.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Track-and -Field Athlete of the Year Yelena Isinbaeva
Infographics: Russia – Ukraine Gas Dispute
New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Both are secondary players in a region overshadowed by an increasingly assertive China, which has not hesitated to push against the boundaries of its neighbors.