One of Russia's most notorious criminal masterminds, Mafia godfather Aslan Usoyan, also known as ‘Ded Hassan,' was shot dead by a sniper rifle in central Moscow on Wednesday, police said.
A sniper fired six shots at Usoyan from the window of a nearby house as the 75-year-old was walking out of a restaurant in Moscow's Arbat district.
His bodyguards failed to cover him in time, and the crime boss died from his injuries on the way to hospital.
Ded Hassan had managed to survive at least two previous assassination attempts: A would-be killer missed him in Sochi in 1998, and another one seriously injured Usoyan and his bodyguard in a 2010 Moscow shooting.
Usoyan, an ethnic Kurdish Yezidi mobster, started his criminal career in Georgia, where he earned his first jail term for fighting police at the age of 19.
While in jail on speculation charges from 1966 to 1968, he acquired the status of ‘thief in law' - marking his standing among the elite of the Soviet and post-Soviet criminal underworld.
In recent years, Ded Hassan was widely suspected of controlling various organized criminal groups that dealt in illegal gambling, arms and drug trafficking, and the theft of natural resources.