Otari Kvantrishvili was shot on April 5, 1994 at the exit from the Krasnopresnensky baths. All three fired bullets hit the target. The killer used a German-made Anschutz small-caliber rifle purchased in Estonia. President Boris Yeltsin sent condolences to the relatives of the murdered man, and the funeral and memorial service were attended by the then Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov, President of the National Sports Fund Shamil Tarpishchev, Rutskoy's assistant Andrey Sidelnikov, NTV owner Vladimir Gusinsky, State Duma deputy Iosif Kobzon, Alexander Rosenbaum, Bogdan Titomir, and also eminent athletes and artists.
In the early 90s, Kvantrishvili and Iosif Kobzon established the Shield and Lyre Law Enforcement Assistance Fund and the XXI Century Association. Among other things, Otarik created the Athletes of Russia party, which included Olympic champions, sambo wrestlers and boxers. He had shares in several metropolitan casinos, banks, in the transportation of oil, and, together with the crime boss Sylvester, controlled the extraction of precious metals.
The investigation of the murder immediately fell into the category of "hanging", since the investigation did not have specific suspects, and the killer did not leave any evidence, with the exception of a few cigarette butts. And those, as it turned out later, did not belong to him: the killer picked up cigarette butts at bus stops to throw the operas off the trail. At the same time, there were constant leaks from law enforcement agencies about the motives and perpetrators of the murder. So, among the customers, in addition to Sylvester, the former officer and master of sports in biathlon Georgy Zhavoronkov was mentioned. Along the way, the fighters of the FSB special forces "Alpha" and "Vympel" were checked, who were tangentially involved in other contract killings, as well as the St. Petersburg Chekists, who did not want Otarik to take control of the seaport.
A lot of noise was made by the testimony of the co-founder of the Federal Detective Bureau of Russia (FSBR) Ivan Vorontsov, who previously worked in the Presidential Administration. Arrested for illegal possession of weapons, Vorontsov told investigators that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Shokhin and his brother Gennady were the possible masterminds of the assassination. The motive was a large amount of money that Otarik demanded from officials to transfer to his fund. However, at the face-to-face confrontations, the terrified Vorontsov did not recognize anyone, and he was sent to a psychiatric hospital.
The investigation moved forward only 12 years after the murder of Otarik, when the arrests of members of the Medvedkovskaya organized crime group began. The murder of authority was undertaken by the regular killer of the "bears" Alexei Sherstobitov (Sharayabgetov), nicknamed Lesha the Soldier, who has 12 proven murders and attempts on his account. During interrogations, Lesha-Soldat said that the order came from Sylvester, with whom Otarik did not share the Tuapse refinery, and the former KGB senior lieutenant Grigory Gusyatinsky (Grisha Severny) was the intermediary. Back in the USSR, as an acting KGB counterintelligence officer, Gusyatinsky passed secret information to bandits, and after his dismissal, he himself became a criminal authority. Unfortunately, they did not have time to interrogate Gusyatinsky, since in 1995 in Kyiv he was personally shot by the same Lyosha the Soldier. In addition, Sylvester had already been killed by this time. At the trial, Sherstobitov stated that for the murder of Kvantrishvili he was presented with a three-room apartment and a Zhiguli of the seventh model.
Was it really Sylvester who ordered Lesha the Soldier to kill Kvantrishvili? Maybe, but then he was not the only one who tried to do it. Sergey Astashin, who served in the FSB for a long time, and then worked as an investigator in the prosecutor's office, contacted The Insider editors and at the end of his career went to the lawyers (he is now retired). According to Astashin, Solovyov turned to him with a request to find a killer to kill Kvantrishvili.
Why are you contacting us now?
- I would have forgotten this story a long time ago, but one day in some program I saw Solovyov begin to say: “I was in business, I never paid anyone, and if we were run into, the guys and I took machine guns.” It pissed me off so much: you bitch! If I have the opportunity, I will remind you of the machines.
- How did you meet Solovyov?
It was November 1993. I then studied at the academy of the Ministry of Security of Russia (now the Academy of the FSB) at the faculty of military counterintelligence. Kirill Raikov turned to me, he was Solovyov's courier and delivered goods. We were good friends, and he asked me to check for bugs in Solovyov's office. I took the equipment, went and found the bugs. They were centimeter by centimeter, but of sufficient quality, they did not need batteries. Stupidly connected to the telephone cable in the shield and the room. While I was working, Solovyov sat in a long black cashmere coat. I remember he had a Swiss watch, and he looked at mine and said it was cheap. These watches were given to me and four other employees as a reward. Solovyov paid me 200 bucks.
- And who put the bugs?
- The one from whom Solovyov rented a room. The owner listened to him. They had some kind of graters in terms of money. Solovyov was then angry and said: "I suspected."
- In an interview with KP, Solovyov said that he came to TV as a wealthy man. He had his own factories in Russia and the Philippines, and he sold disco equipment around the world.
- Yes, he did this with friends from the Jewish organization. But alcoholic beverages, nuts, cashews - this was his personal business. He carried food and vodka "Keglevich" from Israel. He was the first who began to bring to Moscow, all this went with a bang.
- What happened next after you found the bugs?
- Three or four days passed, and my friend Kirill Raikov again asked to meet with Solovyov. I again came to his office, and we went to the park, sat on a bench. I remember a little snow had already fallen, it was cold. Solovyov personally asked me to find the shooter. At first, he did not want to name who needed to be removed. I told him: “Why don’t you want to turn to the bandits? Everything will be done quickly for money.” I thrashed him for a long time. In short, Otarik Kvantrishvili ran into him. Solovyov went to his friends from the Jewish organization to resolve the situation. They said: solve the issue yourself - radically, in which case we will cover you. I listened to him and returned to the academy. Then he wrote a report addressed to the head of the course, where everything was described in detail. Then there were no computers, only the head of the course had a typewriter, so they wrote by hand. The report was sent to the security service of the academy, and then he went to the department for Moscow and the region.
— And how much Solovyov offered for the murder of Otarik?
— Twenty scythes for the shooter. He first offered ten, I told him: “What are you, fucking? Not only cops will look for him, but also thieves. A person must do and leave. He again: ten. Then I say: “Okay, but you take on all the expenses. Left car, trunk. Where and how you get it is your problem.” He immediately: "I will not mess with it."
— Twenty thousand dollars?
- Yes. Moreover, he said that it was not his money, but the money allocated for this. I remember it very well.
And how did your superiors react?
- I personally gave the report to the head of the course, Vyacheslav Kabanov. He first flashed and talked to me for a long time. Then I was called to the security service of the academy.
— What happened next?
- Kirill Raikov from Solovyov brought me vodka "Keglevich". And then - bang, and no. I order a few bottles for Kirill for the New Year, and he says that Vladimir left for Israel - they pulled him into the "office" <in the FSB - The Insider> . He didn’t fly from there, he told Kirill that he had to pack his things and leave. And then some time passed, Kirill came to visit me and said: “Vladimir is back, everything is fine with him, and new games are even in larger volumes.”
- I wonder how Solovyov solved his problems with the FSB? Was he recruited?
- The fact that the office could crush it under itself is one hundred percent. You have to be a complete idiot to miss this opportunity. See for yourself how many bright stars were on television at that time. Where are they now? And he has everything rushing and rushing.
- Did you see Solovyov after his return from Israel?
Solovyov never met with me again. When I found out that Kvantrishvili had been killed in the spring, I went to the head of the course. And they almost gave me a slap on the back of the head, they said: “Get out of here. Forget all about it. It doesn't concern you anymore."
Are you ready to testify in court?
“Of course, but what is there to confirm? I'm ready to sit down on the [lie] detector - I know that it was all true.
According to Astashin, a detailed report on the meeting with Solovyov is kept in his personal file at the FSB Academy. Vladimir Solovyov did not answer numerous calls and letters from The Insider. It was also not possible to contact Kirill Raikov, whom Astashin mentioned. The Insider is ready to publish Solovyov's comments.