This beautiful, beautiful man, Aslan Usoyan, aka “Grandpa Hasan,” was just executed in broad daylight by a sniper bullet to the head, according to the Financial Times. Usoyan, who claimed to be nought but a lowly “pensioner” in interviews (ha) was reportedly the top mafiosi in the Bratva, or the Russian mob. From the FT:
[P]olice say he was the highest-ranking vor v zakone – literally “thief in law” or code-bound criminal – in Russia.
The vory are a caste of professional criminals formed in the Soviet gulags of the 1930s. The highest rank is given to men of respect who sit at the top of Russia’s criminal hierarchy, follow the thieves’ common code of ‘law’, and act as unofficial adjudicators of disputes.
“They are dinosaurs, the old Soviet gulag-era crime lords,” said Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University who is an expert on the Russian underworld. He added that the vory had been steadily giving way to more agile and less principled criminal “authorities” since the fall of communism.
The sniper shot from a stairwell in a nearby building, and Usoyan was executed as a result of an ongoing dispute with a rival Georgian clan. The dispute arose from building contracts in Sochi, where the Olympics are about to be held next year, which adds a nice bit of international flavor to this whole thing. And if the last time Usoyan got shot is anything to judge by, the sniper likely won’t be caught:
In September 2010 Usoyan was shot in the stomach by a sniper, who left an untraceable rifle at the scene and evaded as many as 10 security cameras in his getaway. Most suspected that such an elaborate hit implied that Russia’s security services were involved.
Now if only we could get the dashcam video of this whole thing. Those are awesome.