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Cablegate: Vtb Managing Director Found Murdered Near Moscow

VZCZCXYZ0015
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMO #5770 3441433
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101433Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5775
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS MOSCOW 005770

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/RUS, EEB/IFD
TREASURY FOR MEYER, TORGERSON
NSC FOR WARLICK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN ECON RS
SUBJECT: VTB MANAGING DIRECTOR FOUND MURDERED NEAR MOSCOW

REF: (06) MOSCOW 11533

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Summary
-------

1. (U) On December 6, officials from the Moscow Oblast
division of the General Procuracy's Investigation Committee
discovered the body of VTB Managing Director for Corporate
Clients Oleg Zhukovsky. He was found at the bottom of a
swimming pool near his home in the Odintsovo region of
suburban Moscow. Zhukovsky's hands and feet were bound, and
his head had been covered in plastic wrap. Officials found
an apparent suicide note, in which Zhukovsky supposedly
lamented that he was "tired of life." Investigators
dismissed the letter as an attempted cover-up and announced
that a formal investigation into Zhukovsky's murder had
begun. End Summary.

---------------------------
VTB Bank Manager Found Dead
---------------------------

2. (SBU) VTB Corporate Client Division Managing Director
Oleg Zhukovsky was found dead at the bottom of a swimming
pool near his suburban Moscow home on December 6. Officials
from the Moscow Oblast division of the Investigation
Committee announced that Zhukovsky's hands and feet had been
bound and that his head had been covered in plastic wrap.
Investigators' initial conclusion was that drowning was the
cause of death. They also revealed that they found what
appeared to be a suicide note, the handwriting of which
relatives identified as Zhukovsky's. The letter stated the
victim was "tired of life" and pleaded that his family and
colleagues "not accuse anyone" for his death. Investigators
publicly concluded Zhukovsky was forced to write the note by
those trying to cover-up his murder. They reported that the
circumstances surrounding the body's discovery were
sufficient to launch a criminal investigation.

3. (SBU) Zhukovsky, 55, had focused primarily on providing
financial services to the forestry industry. One of his main
projects during the last year was formulating a revitalized
forestry development policy. According to Antanta Capital
forestry analyst Anna Krylova, Zhukovsky worked closely with
Federal Timber Agency Director Valery Roshchupkin on "A
Strategic Vision and Long-Term Development Scenarios for the
Russian Timber Industry Through 2015," which they presented
during the InternatioQTimber Forum in St. Petersburg in
October. Krylova also noted that the forestry sector of the
economy was closely tied to organized crime.

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Comment
-------

4. (SBU) Zhukovsky's death comes a little more than a year
after another VTB executive, Aleksandr Plokhin, was killed in
Moscow (reftel). The brutal way in which Zhukovsky was
killed makes a link to organized crime a plausible theory.
BURNS

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