|08VLADIVOSTOK7||2008-01-28 06:01:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Consulate Vladivostok|
VZCZCXRO2296 RR RUEHLN RUEHYG DE RUEHVK #0007 0280601 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 280601Z JAN 08 FM AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0874 INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE RUEHVK/AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK 0945
UNCLAS VLADIVOSTOK 000007
1. (U) On January 28, Primorye's First Vice Governor Sergey
Sopchuk was shot as he was leaving home for work. The apparent
assassination attempt failed and Sopchuk is reportedly
recuperating in a Vladivostok hospital in satisfactory condition
with wounds to his shoulder and hands. Police have a
description of a suspect but no arrests. Vice Governor
Sopchuk's official portfolio includes international affairs,
land, utilities, agriculture and fishing.
2. (SBU)According to one Consulate source, Sopchuk controls a
Russian-Chinese border crossing point and he is believed to be
involved in smuggling. While there are economic reasons for
Sopchuk to have enemies, Consulate contacts suggest the
assassination attempt could have more to do with political
intrigue. Governor Darkin has long been rumored to be on the
Kremlin's chopping block and Sopchuk is seen by some as a
potential successor to the high powered post of Governor.
Meanwhile, Governor Darkin has insisted that his Deputies sign
their own official documents, to "keep his hands clean" should
any of his Deputies be accused of wrongdoing. With federal
money coming into the Russian Far East to fund a new development
plan, the post of Governor is more powerful than ever.
3. (U) Governor Darkin is quoted on the RIA Prima Media press
service as saying this attempt to intimidate the public and the
administration has failed and he expressed confidence that the
person responsible would be brought to justice swiftly.
4. (U) Sopchuk is 43, married, and has three children.