Customers are not set. There is a verdict in the case of the murder of Shabtai Kalmanovich, but there is no clarity

Prosecutors requested life imprisonment for the three natives of Ingushetia, but the judge sentenced them to 18 to 22 years in prison.

The Masgarsud sentenced three persons involved in the case of the contract killing of businessman, philanthropist and basketball official Shabtai Kalmanovich, who was shot dead in the center of Moscow on November 2, 2009. The natives of Ingushetia – Bogaudin Kastoev, Ali Belkharoev and Batyr Tumgoev – were sentenced to 18 to 22 years in a high-security prison. They were found guilty of murder by an organized group for hire and attempted murder (of Shabtai’s driver). Kastoev was sentenced to 22 years in a strict regime colony, Belkharoev – to 20 years, Tumgoev – to 18 years. Prosecutors asked for 24 years to life in prison for the defendants. The lighter sentences are due to the fact that the two defendants in the case have minor children. Although the defense intends to appeal this sentence as well.

The reasons for the high-profile murder and the perpetrators of the crime are still unknown.

Shabtai Kalmanovich.

Tatsiana Daragoutina, Photo archive “SE”

Nine years of investigation

In the interview of Kalmanovich’s widow, Anna Arkhipava, which she gave to “SE” five months after her husband’s murder, she admitted that Shabtai had no security: “There was not even armored glass in the car. He didn’t believe it. He always said: “If they want to kill me, they can do it at any moment. But I didn’t do anything bad to anyone.” Indeed, there was no person with whom Shabtai would not make an agreement. Trust me! On any topic – the question of relationships, influence, money… He had something to keep, so there were no unsolvable questions. I am puzzled and cannot understand why they could shoot. He had no good premonitions.”

On November 2, 2009, Shabtai died in Moscow as a result of a contract killing. The Mercedes, in which the 61-year-old Kalmanovich was with his personal driver Pyotr Tumanov, was attacked by hired killers near the Novodevichy Convent in Moscow. The killers fired about 20 shots – Shabtai died on the spot, and the driver was wounded: “I am very grateful to Peti. He fought for Shabtai’s life until the last second. After crashing into the poles, he jumped out onto the road and began to brake the car with his arms outstretched. A “fast” was passing by. They ran to Shabtai, saying: “He can’t be helped anymore.” What’s wrong with you?” – “Everything is fine.” And Petey has a shot in the back. His arm was removed, but he did not understand what was happening to him. A state of affect.”

The investigation took nine long years. It turned out that there were no witnesses to the murder, the road cameras did not record anything, and the weapon and car used by the killers disappeared without a trace. Operatives of the main threat investigation department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and the central apparatus of the SKR, having processed a huge array of billing telephone connections until 2018, established that during the preparation of the crime and during the attempt itself, the criminals used two “battle phones” – mobile phones with SIM cards registered to fake persons . . After comparing the periods of activity of the “combat tubes”, the investigation established that they correspond exactly to the time of shutdowns and broadcasts of other devices, already officially registered to the future defendants Tumgoev, Belkharoev and Kastoev, Kommersant reports.

On July 13, 2022, the jury found the defendants guilty and unworthy of mercy. Two months later, Tumgoev, Belkharoev and Kostoev received real terms. Their lawyers do not agree with this decision of the court. The defense emphasizes that their charges have nothing to do with this crime. In the court of the highest instance, they intend to challenge many points, including the motive for the murder (the investigation came to the opinion that the defendants acted for hire).

Shabtai Kalmanovich.  Photo by Tatsiana Daragoutina,

Shabtai Kalmanovich.

Tatsiana Daragoutina, Photo archive “SE”


The investigation failed to establish the customer of the crime and the amount of the paid fee. And this is a key moment in the case of Kalmanovich. There are many different versions of why that terrible tragedy happened. For example, that the businessman allegedly entered into a conflict with ethnic criminal groups due to control over the capital’s Darogamilovsky market. Or that the businessman was removed during the attacks on Sontsev authorities, organized by the thief in law Taro Aniani. Earlier, another “Sontsev untouchable” was killed – Vyacheslav Ivankov, nicknamed Yaponchyk.

There was also a version with a pharmaceutical background of a businessman. A number of publications, citing a person in Kalmanovich’s circle, reported that Shabtai was “abandoned” by a partner in the pharmaceutical business – he did not deliver a large batch of already paid for drugs. Reluctance to repay the loan could be a powerful motive.

Alexander Dobravinsky, a lawyer and friend of the businessman, says that, according to rumors, through Kalmanovich, the leaders of the gambling business tried to bribe officials and get licenses extended. Allegedly, the money went “to the top”, but there was no desired effect. After that, the participants of the transaction decided to remove unnecessary witnesses. Iosif Kabzon at one time believed that Shabtai could have acted as a “Trial judge” in some complicated shadowy case and as a result suffered for it. However, Anna Arkhipova told “SE” that she absolutely did not believe in this: “Yes, stop it. In their (these versions. – Note “SE”) there is not even five percent of the truth.”

Will the public learn the real reason for Kalmanovich’s murder?

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