THE RUSSIAN aerospace industry has been hit by a spate of murders and an apparent suicide, which claimed the lives of three senior executives over a six-day period.

Promexport director Oleg Borisov was found dead in his Moscow apartment on 15 January, having apparently shot himself.

Unconfirmed reports have linked Promexport, an arms-export agency of the State Committee for Defence Branches of Industry, with the illegal selling of man-portable surface-to-air missiles.

Two days later, Tengiz Khetsuriani, the RussJet director, died in a hail of bullets as he was driving near his home in Moscow. Russjet is the joint-venture company set up by several concerns, including the Mikoyan design bureau and the Klimov engine-design bureau, to re-engine South African Mirage F.1 fighters with Klimov RD-33s.

On 20 January, Mikhail Livitan, the general director of Full Global Leasing Airlines, was shot dead in his Moscow office. Full Global specialises in deliveries of Russian aircraft in the CIS and abroad. There is no apparent connection between the deaths.

Source: Flight International