Big Russian Mafioso was after crime lord Vasilenko before abduction
A source believes that the chances of finding one of the key defendants in the murders of Zilin and Voronenkov alive are extremely small.
The Ukrainian crime boss kidnapped in Moscow yesterday had been fearing for his life recently.
According to the Rosbalt source, a big Russian mafia leader was after him, but Vasilenko managed to avoid him believing that the meeting would not end well for him.
In the evening of January 10, a few men took Vasilenko out of the Basilik restaurant shot at him several times, then forced into a trunk of a jeep and taken somewhere. Shells for a 7.62 caliber TT pistol were taken from the scene.
According to a law enforcement source, Vasilenko, who is on the wanted list in Ukraine, had lived in the Russian capital with a fake passport in the name of a certain Antonenko.
The crime boss rented a large apartment in the area of the Alekseevskaya metro station, which he barely ever left. If absolutely necessary, he had meetings and negotiations in a nearby restaurant called Basilik.
It is also known that he had no guard as such, but usually was accompanied by a group of friends. Witnesses say they saw a gun on him.
After yesterday’s incident, an amber alert was announced in the city; a Mitsubishi Pajero SUV was searched for; it was said to be silver and have no number plate. After that, a search was conducted in Vasilenko’s rented apartment, and investigators discovered several dozen weapons, including sniper rifles and explosives.
In Ukraine, Vasilenko is known as an influential mafia leader closely associated with thieves in law. A number of Rosbalt sources named Vladimir Tyurin (Tyurik) among them.
Maria Maksakova and Vladimir Tyurin
According to some reports, Tyurik even tried to ‘push’ Vasilenko to ‘thieves in law’ and let him ’supervise’ Kursk and Belgorod regions, however Kursk ‘thief’ Viktor Panyushin (aka Vitya Pan) stonewalled these attempts.
The Ukrainian Prosecution Service also ascertained of ties between Tyurin and Vasilenko. They believe Vasilenko is one of the organizers of murder of a former Russia’s State Duma member Denis Voronenkov in March, 2017, and the ‘thief’ is this crime’s ordering party. Besides that, Vasilenko may relate to other murders - shooting of a leader of the Ukrainian oppositional party Oplot Evgeny Zhilin in Moscow region, in 2016, and murder of an ‘infuential’ Russian-Ukrainian businessman Maksim Kurochkin (aka Maks Besheny) in Kyiv, in 2007. In Voronenkov and Kurochkin’s cases Vasilenko only organized the crime and hired the performers. As for Zhilin, according to some sources, Vasilenko had his own conflict with him.
Maksim Kurochkin (aka Maks Besheny)
Zhilin’s case who was shot in the Moscow region-based restaurant Veterok, located on Rublevo-Uspenskoe Highway, near the settlement of Gorki-2, has not been investigated yet. In February, 2018, investigators had a lead on the alleged killer who turned out to be a citizen of Ukraine Nikolay Didkovsky. In April, it was reported he was killed.
The investigation theory is that Zhilin might have been shot due to the conflict with Maksim, a son of a Kharkov ‘influential’ kingpin Vladimir Yurchenko (aka Seva). The leader of Oplot tried to collect a $6 million debt from him. Vladimir Yurchenko was murdered in 1998. After his death, his ties started working for his children. In particular, Maksim became a shadowy banker who funnels out large amounts to Europe from Russia and Ukraine. According to some reports, he carried out these operations under the protection of Vasilenko.
In 2016, the owner of several shopping centers in Kharkov, through his friend Pavel F., turned to Maxim with a request to withdraw $6 million to Europe. The money has gone. The businessman suspected that the amount was divided by the son of Yurchenko, Vasilenko and others involved in the operation.
The victim turned for help to his friend Zhilin, who had a group of militants of Oplot in Kharkov "under the gun." Zhilin immediately began to cruelly attack Yurchenko Jr., Vasilenko and Pavel F. The latter later refused to communicate with Yurchenko and Vasilenko, since he himself was on the side of the victim and demanded the return of money.
Thus, Zhilin began to squeeze out the assets of Yurchenko and Vasilyev in Kharkov. As a result of this conflict, the leader of Oplot was shot. The source of Rosbalt notes that in the Moscow region Zhilin was monitored by one of Vasilenko’s relatives. It was he who allegedly provided the weapon and the car to the direct perpetrators of the crime.
Vasilenko’s partner in various contract killings was often Eduard Akselrod, also known as Edik Lepa. However, after the murder of Voronenkov, a conflict arose between Vasilenko and Axelrod. It has been suggested that the latter remains at large due to cooperation with the Security Service of Ukraine in Voronenkov’s case.
In November 2017, Axelrod was found killed in his car in the courtyard of a house in Kharkov.
Later, Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yury Lutsenko said that Axelrod was the link between Tyurin and Vasilenko in organizing Voronenkov’s murder.
Murdered Eduard Axelrod