MOSCOW, Russia (Reuters) -- Gunmen have shot and killed a senior Russian central banker who strove to stamp out money laundering in one of the most high profile suspected contract killings since Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000.
There have been dozens of contract assassinations since the fall of communism in 1991 but the murder of 41-year-old Andrei Kozlov, the Central Bank's first deputy chairman, has jolted Russia's business and political community which had begun to enjoy a higher degree of safety and stability.
The following is a list of five of the highest profile contract killings in Russia since 1991:
March 1995 - Gunmen kill Vladislav Listyev, the charismatic anchorman of a highly popular news talk show. The attack is linked to opponents of an advertising ban he had proposed for a new version of Russia's main television channel.
November 1998 - Galina Starovoitova, a leading liberal deputy and human rights campaigner, is shot dead by gunmen at her apartment building in St Petersburg.
October 2002 - Valentin Tsvetkov, governor of the Magadan region in Russia's far east, is shot dead in central Moscow. He had been trying to crack down on rampant crime in his Pacific region's gold and oil industries.
July 2004 - Gunmen shoot dead Paul Klebnikov, a U.S. citizen and editor of Forbes's Russian magazine, outside his Moscow office. Klebnikov had written at length about corruption in Russia and Forbes had published a list of Russia's richest people.
October 2005 - The former head of a bank that had its license revoked for suspected money laundering and triggered a general banking crisis in Russia, Alexander Slesarev, is gunned down in his car with his daughter and wife.
Saturday, September 16, 2006