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Toni Schönfelder
A lifetime of innovation

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Toni Schönfelder
A lifetime of innovation

Thursday, Aug. 8, 2002.

Top Official in Smolensk Shot Dead

First Deputy Smolensk Governor Vladimir Prokhorov was shot and killed in the regions capital Smolensk as he was walking with his wife to his office Wednesday morning.

An unknown attacker fired five rounds at Prokhorov, 55, and then approached his crumpled body and shot him point-blank in the head to make sure he was dead, Smolensk government spokeswoman Yekaterina Chalova said by telephone from Smolensk. Prokhorovs wife, Nelli, was uninjured but hospitalized for shock.

The attacker was whisked away by an accomplice on a motorcycle, she said.

Police investigators said it would be premature to link the attack with Prokhorovs job, Interfax said.

Chalova denied the killing was connected to any business dealings.

"Prokhorov was never occupied with business," she said. "He always was a public servant."

Prokhorov was the first regional official appointed by Smolensk Governor Viktor Maslov after his election in May. Prokhorov had headed the election campaign for Maslov, a former head of the local Federal Security Service.

Chalova said Prokhorov had coordinated the activities of the regional administration and had not been in charge of any specific department.

Prokhorov was Smolensk mayor from 1988-91. He held various posts in the regional government over the past decade. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons.

In May, another top Smolensk official was attacked in an apparent contract hit. Two assailants opened fire on a car carrying then-Deputy Governor Anatoly Makarenko. Makarenko was not injured in the attack, but his driver died on the spot. The motive for the attack remains unclear.

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