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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Reputed Mobster Dies, 69


Vyacheslav Ivankov, better known as Yaponchik and dubbed the godfather of the Russian mafia, died at a Moscow hospital Friday morning after being wounded by a sniper in July. He was 69.

Ivankov died from peritonitis, an inflammation of the abdomen that resulted from his wound, medical sources told RIA-Novosti and Interfax. The Investigative Committee confirmed that Ivankov had died.

Calls to the Oncological Center on Kashirskoye Shosse, where he was said to have died, went unanswered.

Doctors performed several operations on him in the last several months, but they were not enough to save him, Interfax reported.

Ivankov was gunned down in late July when he was leaving the Thai Elephant restaurant in northwestern Moscow. The gunman has not been found.

The motive for the attack was also unclear, although many pointed to a gangland conflict between factions reputedly headed by Tariel Oniani and Aslan Usoyan, also known as Grandpa Khasan. Ivankov was said to have supported Usoyan in the conflict, which might have led to the attack.

Ivankov — whose nickname Yaponchik, or “Japanese,” comes from his slightly Asian appearance — spent 10 years in Soviet prisons before being released in 1991. He managed to enter the United States only to find himself in jail again after being tried for extortion in 1995. He was extradited to Russia in 2004 to face murder charges but was acquitted by a Moscow court.