City Hall Official Killed in 'Contract-Style' Hit

A senior Moscow official was found dead Friday on the stairs of his apartment building in the town of Oryol, the victim of what investigators called a "contract-style" shooting that had been meticulously planned and had a "Moscow trace."

The body of Andrei Uvarov, 35, first deputy head of City Hall's department for science, industrial policy and entrepreneurship, was found at 11:30 p.m. Friday with three gunshot wounds in the head and body, regional investigators said in a statement Saturday.

Nothing had apparently been stolen from Uvarov's body. Neighbors had heard the shots that the killer presumably fired from a TT pistol, the federal Investigative Committee said Saturday. A criminal case has been opened on charges of murder without aggravating circumstances, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Investigators said they suspected the killing was linked to Uvarov's job. Moscow City Hall hired Uvarov, a former United Russia official and the son of former Oryol mayor Vasily Uvarov, in August 2011 to perform "mostly technical functions," a City Hall source told Abireg.ru, a business news website, at the time.

A deputy department head at Moscow City Hall is shot dead in the town of Oryol.

The department's main duties at that time were assisting small and medium-sized businesses and ensuring a competitive business environment, the source said.

Before his latest appointment, Uvarov, who had degrees in merchandising and law, headed the Oryol region executive committee of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party for two years. He resigned three months after the party lost municipal elections in the region's two biggest towns — Oryol and Livny — to the Communist Party, Abireg.ru reported. Oryol, the capital of the region that bears the same name, is located 370 kilometers southwest of Moscow.

According to his official biography, Uvarov had been involved in entrepreneurial activities since 1996. He had been one of the heads of Domstroi-2000, a local financial and construction company, then worked for a company that built petrol stations, Business FM reported Saturday.

Uvarov was implicated in a scandal linked to the carving-up of municipal property when his father was mayor of Oryol from 2002 to 2006, Stanislav Rybakov, editor of Oryol news agency Regionalnaya Politika, told the radio station.

State Duma deputy Vasily Ikonnikov, who had personally known Uvarov, told BFM that his murder was more likely linked to his business activities than to politics, since Uvarov had never been "a public politician" and his "political ambitions were small."

"When you do business, things happen," Ikonnikov said.

Uvarov had been involved in various social and political activities since 2007, including with the Man and Law national "human rights union" and the All-Russian Council for Local Governance. He had also served as a municipal deputy in Oryol and an aide to a State Duma deputy.

Between 2008 and 2011, Uvarov had coordinated regional and federal branches of United Russia's talent pool, a database of candidates for government posts.

In the party, Uvarov had sought to make its activities "completely transparent" and proposed ways of reforming it but found no support in the party's leadership, Abireg.ru said, citing pundits.

Uvarov's father currently heads the United Russia faction in the Oryol city council and earlier served as the council's speaker.

Uvarov went to his native town of Oryol with his wife and children on April 30 to spend the May holidays, the Investigative Committee said. On Friday, Uvarov was engaged in household chores and family affairs.

His mother underwent surgery at a local hospital for unknown reasons on Friday. At 5 p.m., Uvarov left his children with his father and went to the theater with his wife. At 8 p.m., Uvarov took the children home and returned to his father's place, then went home after some time and was killed in his apartment building.

Contact the author at n.krainova@imedia.ru

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