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Russian Beer Executive Killed

January 10, 2000

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) _ A top executive of a leading Russian beer company was shot dead in his apartment early Monday, authorities said.

Ilya Waisman, the 36-year-old financial director of the Baltica beer company, died of a chest wound. His wife and daughter, who were in another room at the time of the shooting, weren’t hurt.

The crime had all the signs of a contract killing. Police said the assailant apparently fired from the stairwell of an apartment block adjacent to Waisman’s, hitting him through a window.

There was no immediate word on a possible motive, or on whether suspects had been arrested.

Contract hits have become common in Russia, as the underworld pushes for control over profitable businesses. Of several hundred contract hits every year in Russia, few are ever solved.

St. Petersburg has an especially bad reputation for alleged contract murders. Victims include prominent Russian lawmaker Galina Starovoitova, regional Deputy Governor Mikhail Manevich, and scores of businessmen and bankers.

Baltica accounts for 13 percent of Russia’s beer market and has been the largest taxpayer in northwestern Russia, the ITAR-Tass news agency said.

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