I was going to write about the banking crisis emerging out of thin air in Russia when news came that Paul Khlebnikov, the editor-in-chief of Forbes‘ Russian edition, was shot in his head near his office in Moscow. He died in an ambulance shortly. Khlebnikov, a descendant of Russian émigrés who left the country in 1918, and a graduate of Berkeley and the LSE, was best known to non-journalists as the author of Godfather of the Kremlin, an investigation into the shady business of Boris Berezovsky, who is now living in comfortable exile in London.
Reported details of the murder leave few doubts it was a contract killing. I don’t think Moscow had seen a violent death of a prominent expat since Paul Tatum was gunned down in a Moscow underground passageway in 1996, likely at the order of Chechen “businessman” Umar Dzhabrailov.