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Russian Mayor Assassinated; Is Reform Dead?

Photo courtesy of Sergiev Posad administrative bodyThe mayor of a Russian city near Moscow who was trying to clean up corruption was killed Monday in an apparent contract killing.

Yevgency Dushko, left, 35, had been in office just four months. He was shot in the head and chest by gunmen during the day when heading for his car to go to work.

Breaking up local criminal gangs had been his top priority as mayor.

“The circumstances of the murder point to a possible contract killing,” a local law enforcement official told News24.

His father was also shot but drove Dushko to the hospital, where the son died.

Before becoming mayor, Dushko was chairman of the local parliament.

In July 2009, he said four “muscular goons” had threatened him. They warned that construction projects should be awarded to certain companies.

Two years ago, Russian President Medvedev called for a war on corruption. But there’s no sign of progress.

Russia today is one of the world’s most corrupt countries. It ranks near the bottom of the corruption perception index, dropping from 121 to 154 in the past five years.

The city of Sergiyev Posad, where Dushko was mayor, has about 100,000 people. It’s 30 miles north of Moscow and is popular with tourists because of its huge Orthodox monasteries.

Dushko had been trying to sort out the city’s utilities and housing, “a notoriously corrupt sphere in Russia,” a local report said.

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