Mayor Stabbed To Death

A small-town mayor in the northern Murmansk region was stabbed to death but managed to tell police the name of her killer before she died, investigators said Wednesday.

Nina Varlamova, mayor of the town of Kandalaksha, was found lying on the street at around 9 p.m. Tuesday with knife wounds to her neck, the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

A law enforcement source told Interfax that Varlamova, 54, had just left her home when the assailant ran up to her and stabbed her in the neck.

Varlamova staggered 15 meters, dripping blood, before falling to the ground, Channel One reported. She managed to tell police the name of the attacker before dying, and a local man was later arrested. The Investigative Committee could not be reached for comment Wednesday. But Interfax identified the suspect as Dmitry Kireyev, 51.

The suspect had worked with Varlamova in the town administration in the 1990s and was angry with her because she refused to increase his pension, Channel One reported.

Kireyev is a former deputy in the municipal council and the former editor of a local newspaper, the Regnum news agency reported. In recent years he was unemployed and had sold his apartment.

The suspect appears to be mentally unstable but was not receiving psychiatric treatment, an investigator in Kandalaksha told Interfax. Psychiatrists will examine him to determine whether he is mentally fit to be charged, Interfax said.

The suspect had threatened Varlamova several times in the past but she had not taken him seriously, Ekho Mosvky radio reported. "It was a spontaneous murder," Kandalaksha police chief Anatoly Prokopenko told Channel One.

Kandalaksha is a port town on the shore of the White Sea, above the Arctic Circle. Varlamova was elected mayor of the town and its surrounding district exactly a year before her death Tuesday.

She is the third municipal official in Russia to be murdered in the past 30 days. Magomed Barakhoyev, head of a district in Nazran, Ingushetia, was shot dead on Nov. 17. Vladikavkaz Mayor Vitaly Karayev was shot dead on Nov. 26.