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Monday, 10 July, 2000, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
Leading Russian industrialist shot dead

A leading Russian industrialist has been shot dead by unknown gunmen as he was being driven to work in the city of Yekaterinburg, in the Ural mountains.

The businessman, Oleg Belonenko, was general director of one of Russia's biggest heavy equipment makers, Uralmash. The company began its life as an industrial giant in 1933 as the Soviet Union embarked on an urgent industrialisation programme.

Its products range from battle tanks to machine tools and equipment for the mining industry. The BBC Moscow correspondent says Mr Belonenko's death bears all the hallmarks of a contract killing.

He says hundreds of murders like it take place every year in Russia, and few are ever solved. Our correspondent says the city of Yekaterinburg is particularly notorious for gangland killings.

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