Russian authorities are treating the murder of Chechen poet Ruslan Akhtakhanov, 58, as a contract killing. According to En.Ria
, police said the famous poet was "shot five times in the head and leg as he parked his car on Begovaya St. late on Wednesday." Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said
“The way in which the murder was carried out suggests it had been ordered."
Akhtakhanov was shot dead with an Izh pistol and the gunman, or gunmen, escaped the scene in a Ford Focus without number plates that was later discovered burnt out in a Moscow suburb. Euro News
reported that both the weapon and ammunition were found with the car.
Akhtakhanov was a professor at the Modern Humanitarian Academy in Moscow in addition to writing poetry. He famously held ant-separatist views, believing that Chechnya should be an integral part of the Russian Federation. Separatists attacks are common in post-war Chechnya. Akhtakhanov was reportedly held in a pit for nearly seven weeks by separatists. The Times of Oman
says that Akhtakhanov began to write poetry whilst he was held captive.
have said that the murder could have been committed by the same murderers that killed Russian Colonel Yuri Budanov in June.