Connect to share and comment

Chechen poet, Ruslan Akhtakhanov, gunned down in Moscow

Famous Chechen poet, Ruslan Akhtakhanov, was shot dead in front of his home.

Breaking News GraphicEnlarge

Ruslan Akhtakhanov, a prominent poet from Chechnya, was shot dead in Moscow, in what police believe to be a “contract killing,” the BBC reported.

Akhtakhanov, 58, was not only known as a writer, but as an outspoken opponent of the Chechen separatist movement and believed Chechnya should remain a part of Russia. He was shot several times by an unidentified gunman in front of his home in Moscow on Tuesday night, the BBC reported.

Read more at GlobalPost: Russia's shrinking population mars Putin's superpower ambitions

"An unknown person shot at Akhtakhanov twice: first in the leg and then in the head," the Investigations Committee of Russia said in a statement, the BBC reported. Akhtakhanov was shot at about midnight and his killer escaped in a car which was later found several blocks away, the BBC reported.

On Wednesday, an official spokesperson for the Investigations Committee, Vladimir Markin, said in a state they believed Akhtakhanov was killed by a contract killer. "Investigators consider all possible motives of the crime. But the way it was committed, i.e. the confirming shot that a criminal made after injuring the victim drives us to a conclusion that this was a contract killing," said Markin, RAPSI reported.

Akhtakhanov was a professor at the Modern Humanitarian Academy in Moscow and a member of the Russian Union of Writers, RAPSI reported. In 2009 he received a journalism prize for his book of poetry, “"I am proud of Chechnya, which gave heroes to the world.”

Read more at GlobalPost: Putin's United Russia releases racy campaign ad: (VIDEO)