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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ilyukhin to Lead Rokhlin's Anti-Kremlin Movement

A Communist lawmaker was selected Wednesday to head the anti-government movement founded by Lev Rokhlin, a prominent legislator who was shot dead last week.

Rokhlin, 51, was a former general who was killed at his country home last Friday. His wife, Tamara, said she shot her husband and her fingerprints were found on the weapon, police said.

Viktor Ilyukhin, the chairman of the parliament's security affairs committee, was chosen to replace Rokhlin as chairman of the Movement in Support of the Armed Forces, a group Rokhlin founded last year.

Like Rokhlin, Ilyukhin is a vocal critic of President Boris Yeltsin. Ilyukhin recently initiated an impeachment motion against Yeltsin that is currently under consideration in parliament's lower house, the State Duma.

Meanwhile, the Russian media continued to offer up various theories about Rokhlin's death.

The weekly Argumenty i Fakty quoted unidentified friends of Rokhlin as saying Rokhlin's wife, angry that her husband had left a pro-government party last year and lost his perks, had threatened to kill him on several occasions.

The newspaper also speculated that Rokhlin could have been killed by those who feared he was going to expose military corruption, or by government officials worried that Rokhlin might organize protests by disgruntled former military officers.

A number of opposition politicians and newspapers have speculated about how Rokhlin was killed, but they have not produced any evidence to contradict the police statements.

The liberal Noviye Izvestia claimed the former general was murdered by a group of professional killers, possibly acting on official blessing. It even had an elaborate map on its front page showing how this might have happened.

The newspaper claimed that agents of the Russian Federal Security Service had been bugging Rokhlin's house and following his movements but suddenly withdrew on the eve of the murder.

Rokhlin's daughter Yelena claimed that Rokhlin's wife professed her innocence shortly before her arrest. But her mother agreed to confess to the killing because unidentified assailants threatened to return and kill all of the family if she pointed a finger at them.