Killers still free here

The russian legal system is politizised to a seemingly endless degree, mixing business interests, state oppression and removing critics. In a country supposedly planning everything iwth the eyes on long term stability, this is an incredible lapse of logics: the disintegration of the state control apparatus could accellerate in  the days of internet journalism.

Read here for a report on some notable cases where the killers or the men behind them are  alive and doing very well indeed.

The world may be small. But it is full of big egos?


Sergei Dorovskoi. Former vice-governor of the Lipetsk region. He was Deputy Governor Korolev in economics and finance in 1998-2002. His closest friends and business partners are Gennady Alekseev, a famous criminal, and Pavel Sopot who has been related to one of the most bloody criminal groups in Russia for more than 20 years.


In spring 2000 Sergei Dorovskoi showed Pavel Sopot the publication by Igor Domnikov and ordered to bring the journalist to Lipetsk to get even with him for the critical articles about Governor Korolev, his corrupted deputies, and deplorable economic situation in the region. He suggested that Sopot use money to organize a kidnapping of the journalist.

He is a big businessman now, owner of several enterprises in the Lipetsk region, also director of the largest meat processing factory in the region.

He was interrogated several times on the case of Tagiryanov’s gang and he was a witness in Igor Domnikov’s case. Without proper justification, the Prosecutor’s office of Tatarstan refused to start a criminal case against Dorovskoi as one of the main clients in the murder of the Novaya’s journalist.


Pavel Sopot. A middle-sized businessman. Since the 80s of the last century, he had been a friend and a business partner (first it was a clothing business, then alcohol trade) of Eduard Tagiryanov, the chief of one of the most terrible gang. In the 90s he moved to Moscow simultaneously with Tagiryanov. Sopot’s country house in Moscow area is neighboring those of Tagiryanov’s gang’s members’. They used to hunt together, and celebrated birthdays and weddings.

Sopot was engaged in a shady business in the Lipetsk region. The business was related to offsetting of debts by the enterprises. This business was supervised by Dorovskoi, while the Tagiryanov’s fighters exacted the juice.

In spring 2000, he got the order from Dorovskoi and met with his old friend Tagiryanov in Moscow. He showed him the number of the Novaya Gazeta, handed to him by Dorovskoi, and put the task to Tagiryanov so that he solve the Domnikov’s problem. Being under questioning, Sopot said that Dorovskoi not only directed the killers to the journalist but also suggested money so that to execute the whole thing easier.

He spent two months in pre-trial prison being suspected of involvement in the murder of the Director of Uneco-Avia firm Oleg Kulikov and attack against Igor Domnikov. After interference by some officials from the Prosecutor General’s Office he was released and was considered a witness in Domnikov’s case. Prosecutor’s Office of Tatarstan refused to start a criminal case against Sopot as a mediator in organization of attack and murder of Igor Domnikov.



Eduard Tagiryanov. Head of a gang that recorded 23 murders and 8 kidnappings. The gang featured with great cohesion and possessed big stock of weapons. They always killed ruthlessly the hostages after taking the ransom. Tagiryanov paid huge money to his fighters. The gang not only killed people for their own criminal purposes but also rendered collectors’ and killer’s services to their business partners.

In spring 2000 after a talk with Pavel Sopot Tagiryanov got involved his best killer and second man in the gang Gennady Bezuglov for solving “Domnikov’s problem”. Bezuglov was told to develop a plan of attacking the journalist.

After the attack ended up with Domnikov’s death Tagiryanov reported to Sopot that “the question of the journalist was solved”.

28 August 2007 the Supreme Court of Tatarstan sentenced Tagiryanov to life in the special security penal colony.









Albert Khuzin. The gang’s member who took part in almost every murder incriminated to the gang. He killed three people personally. 12 August 2000 he attacked Igor Domnikov and hit him in the head three times with a hammer. The attack ended with Domnikov’s death.

28 August 2007 the Supreme Court of Tatarstan sentenced Khuzin to 25 years in special security penal colony.










Oleg Korolev. Still the Governor of the Lipetsk region, the Chair of State Council of the Russian Federation.

He is protected by layers of insulating officials, and is suspected to be one of the men behind Pavel Sopot and his murder of the journalist Igor Domnikov.


The Region of High Pressure, Running into the Power, Russian Triggering the Backflash, Lipetsk to Wake up in Economic Miracle, Mandolin in the Bush – these are the titles of the Domnikov’s articles.

None of the facts given in those materials was disputed by the press service of the governor.

We are investigating if Dorovskoi acted only by his own initiative. We believe that this question must be a concern for the Prosecutor General’s Office and Investigative Committee too.

Russia: Worlds apart?


Media Wars


Journalism under fire