Aleksandr Saydakov, head of the ultranationalist Russian Liberal-Democratic Party’s branch in Transdniester, died yesterday of the wounds sustained in the June 12 assassination attempt against him in Tiraspol (see the Monitor, June 15-16). In a coma since the shooting, Saydakov underwent surgery in Moldova’s capital Chisinau at the urgent request of Transdniester leader Igor Smirnov. The surgeons extracted three bullets but could not save Saydakov’s life. Saydakov was widely suspected–as is Smirnov–of involvement with organized crime groups.
In Moscow, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky claimed that Saydakov was the victim of a political assassination. Transdniester authorities, however, insist that the assault was related to Saydakov’s business activities, not politics. Saydakov was one of the main organizers of Transdniester’s paramilitary forces, which seized power in that part of Moldova in 1991-92 and are still in control. He then became a successful businessman there. (Itar-Tass, Flux, Basapress, June 22)
KAZAKHSTAN’S SECURITY SERVICE IDENTIFIES POTENTIAL THREATS.