Hitman fatally wounds businessman, head of Armenian community in Voronezh, downtown Moscow

Hitman fatally wounds businessman, head of Armenian community in Voronezh, downtown Moscow
Arsen Papazyan

Arsen Papazyan died in the hospital.

Arsen Papazyan, a member of the Public Chamber of the Voronezh region and chairman of the Armenian cultural and Christian public organization Ani, was shot today at 3.30PM on Myasnitskaya Street near the building where he had lived.

According to RBC sources in Moscow office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, someone shot Papazyan about four times. Meanwhile, according to the concierge of the building nearby, a machine gun was used. She added that he knew Papazyan, since he had three apartments in the building, where he had lived with his wife and children.

The 46-year-old businessman was taken to Pirogov’s First City Hospital with two penetrating wounds.

Born in Yerevan, Papazyan had lived in Voronezh since 1998. He was involved in a scandal in 2006, when the Voronezh office for the Federal Migration Service (FMS) denied him the permit for temporary residence in Russia. According to the Service, the reason was that he had reported "knowingly false information" about himself in state bodies. Meanwhile, the businessman and by that time already chairman of the Committee on Nationalities Affairs of the local public chamber claimed that it was a revenge of the authorities for his protecting national minorities from police harassment.

Apart from his social activities, Papazyan was also actively involved in business: he owned a cafe, an entertainment complex and an asphalt-laying firm.

The businessman is also known to have lived and worked in Ukraine’s Kharkov for some time.

The Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case on attempted murder. According to sources, a contract killing is the primary version.

Interestingly, another Armenian diaspora head was almost killed in the same neighboring country at the beginning of the week. The attempted murder of Artashes Sargsyan in Zaporozhye could be related to the fact that he is considered the leader of an organized criminal group. The hitman wounded his bodyguard.

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