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Rent-A-Thug

Anna Politkovskaya is perhaps Russia’s most famous victim of a suspected contract killer, but many murder cases and attacks on journalists are thought to be carried out by those acting on orders.  And Russia’s thirst for contract killers and hired thugs shows no signs of abating.  With the state’s spotlight now shining more brightly on official corruption, regional leaders have to be more careful about hiding the fruits of their ambiguously-gotten gains.  
Yelena Zubova, a representative for anti-construction residents in Moscow’s Yasenevo district, says she received anonymous phone threats after posting a photo of local official Alexander Korneyev standing next to a yacht bearing the name ‘Alexander K‘ – which he claims is not his.  The case has drawn the attention of Solidarity leader Konstantin Yanauskas, spurring him to go to the Investigative Committee and call for a probe to discern whether or not Korneyev’s income ‘corresponds with his expenses‘.


It’s well-known that contract thugs are most frequently hired by officials whose corrupt activities are uncovered by local sources.  But the desired outcome of the threats in this case is unclear.  If anything, the idea that someone would hire a telephone menace to threaten Zubova surely only makes Korneyev look more corrupt.