Sun, Jul 11, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Russian editor of `Forbes' gunned down in Mosow


Gunmen have shot dead the Russian editor of Forbes magazine, who earned notoriety by writing a book about exiled magnate Boris Berezovsky.

Paul Khlebnikov, 41, walked out of his office late on Friday in northeastern Moscow when a car pulled up and several shots were fired at him. Khlebnikov, a US citizen of Russian origin, died on his way to hospital.

He was the latest victim of post-Soviet city-center killings which have struck down officials, businessmen and journalists. News reports said cartridges of two different calibers were found, suggesting two assailants had opened fire.

Forbes, the magazine which tracks the worth of the world's wealthy, started publication in Russia in April and in May it issued a list of Russia's biggest fortunes. Dominated by oil magnates and metals tycoons, it revealed Moscow to be the city with the world's most billionaires.

Interfax quoted others associated with the magazine as saying they had no notion of who might be behind the murder.

"Someone among very tough and powerful people probably didn't like the Forbes project," Leonid Bershidsky, publisher of both Forbes and Newsweek in Russia, told the agency.

Post-Soviet public life has been marked by murders of prominent figures singled out because of their business or political activities, including human rights advocate and lawmaker Galina Starovoitova in 1998 and politician Sergei Yushenkov last year.

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