Inside the Ignoble Burial of a Russian Mob King

Aslan Usoyan laid to rest yesterday
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2013 8:58 AM CST
This undated video grab provided by Russian state television shows Russian mobster Aslan Usoyan, left, one of Russia's top crime lords who was gunned down Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/Russian State TV Channel Rossiya One)
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(Newser) – Aslan Usoyan, the Russian mob boss killed by a sniper on Wednesday, was buried yesterday outside of Moscow, and the New York Times' description of his ignoble burial stands in stark contrast to what these funerals are typically like. While past mob bosses found a final resting place in some of Moscow and St. Petersburg's finest cemeteries, Usoyan had no such luck. His family wanted him buried in his native Georgia, but that country reportedly refused to let the plane carrying his body land—and all the cemeteries within Moscow gave the family a no as well.

They finally had to resort to a grave site south of the city limits, where Usoyan now rests under a fairly plain Russian Orthodox cross—past mobsters often chose ostentatious grave markers (complete, in one instance, with an image of the criminal's most-loved BMW). Journalists were kept out of the ceremony via a barricade at the entrance, notes the AFP, but one journo reports that officials prevented Usoyan from being buried in Moscow to avoid the "bandit spectacle" that accompanied the 2009 funeral of his predecessor, Vyacheslav Ivankov, who was also assassinated outside a restaurant. He was buried just miles from the Kremlin, in a coffin that some say had its own air conditioner. (Read more Aslan Usoyan stories.)

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