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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Photographer Shot Dead in Moscow

A Russian free-lance photographer who worked mainly for German publications has been gunned down and killed in central Moscow, in an apparent assassination by two unidentified men who fled the scene.

Felix Solovyov, 62, was shot in the head and chest on Bolshoi Kozikhinsky Pereulok at 9 p.m. Monday, police officials said.

"The matter is under investigation, but the criminals got away," said Moscow police spokesman Alexander Cherednikov. "We don't know what the motives could be."

Itar-Tass reported that police discovered two pistols with silencers and eight used cartridges discarded at the crime scene. They later found a partially burned Zhiguli car, in which they believed the criminals fled after setting fire to it.

Friends and colleagues of Solovyov, who worked for Russian as well as German publications, said they had no idea what could have prompted his murder.

"He was a wonderful person, and when he came to visit me last week I got no indication that anything was bothering him," said Christel Vollmer, senior reporter at the German Bild am Sonn-tag.

Vollmer said she last worked with Solovyov in 1994 on a series of reports about the Russian mafia, but added that she doubted that this was the cause of his murder.

"I don't think he had any problems with that story," she said in a telephone interview from Germany. "I certainly didn't, and I'm convinced he would have told me if he had."

Vollmer said she had discussed future story ideas with Solovyov during his recent visit to Germany, adding that he showed no sign of fearing any sort of attack.

"Either something suddenly happened last week, or he just had no idea," Vollmer said.

Solovyov was the latest of a string of journalists to be murdered in Russia in recent years, including Oleg Slabynko, Vladislav Listyev and Dmitry Kholodov. None of these cases has been solved.