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17 Sep, 2010 05:45

Top kingpin survives attempt on life

A suspected Russian criminal mastermind has survived an assassination attempt in central Moscow.

Aslan Usoyan, better known as “Grandpa Hasan,” was shot in the abdomen and is now believed to be fighting for his life in one of Moscow’s hospitals. He was initially thought to have died on the way to the hospital.

Usoyan is considered to be the godfather of the mafia, controlling most criminal gangs in Russia and CIS countries.

The shootout took place at about 21:15 Moscow time on Thursday.

Aslan Usoyan arrived to his son’s apartment house on Moscow’s Tverskaya Street 12/7, which is located less than a mile from the Kremlin, accompanied by a bodyguard.

Grandpa Hasan had every reason to fear for his life and was accompanied by bodyguards at all times. The bodyguard that protected him is also believed to be in hospital now.

Security staff from a nearby café rushed to the scene and called for an ambulance.

Investigators who arrived at the scene found an open window in an apartment on the third floor of the house across the yard. A sniper rifle apparently used in the assassination attempt was found in the apartment.

Law enforcement have already linked the shooting to the murder of another infamous Russian mobster, known as “Yaponchik”, who died after two months in hospital after being shot in the abdomen with a sniper rifle.

It is thought that Grandpa Hasan was proclaimed Yaponchik's heir after the latter was killed last year.

Aslan Usoyan, Kurdish by nationality, was born in Tbilisi in 1937. As a “Vor v Zakone” (or “thief in law”) he is banned from Georgia.