Police Investigate Shooting Death of University Head

Police Investigate Shooting Death of University Head

Published: September 12, 2012 (Issue # 1726)

A criminal investigation has been opened into the murder of Alexander Viktorov, rector of St. Petersburg State Service and Economics University (SPbGUSE).

Viktorov, 61, was shot dead near his house in the town of Vsevolozhsk outside St. Petersburg at about 8 p.m. last Wednesday. His wife Yelena Viktorova, 60, who worked at the same university, was wounded in the leg.

The attack happened soon after the couple got out of Viktorov’s company car, which was being driven by a chauffeur. When the driver looked in the rear view mirror of the car after driving a short distance away, he saw the Viktorovs lying on the ground and an unidentified man running away from them. The driver drove back and went to get help, but Viktorov was already dead, while his wife was calling for help.

The assailant shot Viktorov three times.

Local news website Fontanka.ru reported that the only serious problem that Viktorov’s friends, colleagues and local journalists could recall with regard to him was a conflict with Viktorov’s predecessor Vladimir Solovyov three years ago. Viktorov publicly blamed Solovyov for the disappearance of nearly a billion rubles ($32 million) from the university’s budget.

Numerous inspections into the missing funds were stopped when Solovyov and his son, who also worked at the university, resigned from their posts, Fontanka reported.

The university is reportedly one of the most popular higher education establishments in St. Petersburg, with 2.6 candidates for every fee-paying place. The cost of studying at the university ranges from 83,000 to 130,000 rubles ($2,600 to $4,100) a year, Fontanka reported.

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