Posts tagged ‘Princess Marie-Christine of Kent’

Princess Michael Of Kent “Russian Toyboy” Mikhail Kravchenko’s Murder, Intended Target or Mistaken Identity? (Photos)

Blogged By: La Tray

Source & Story Credit: Daily Mail Reporter – Will Stewart

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

Posted: Monday May 28, 2012 @ 7:34  p.m. PST

 

 

  • Mikhail Kravchenko’s neighbour believes he may have been intended target
  • Vakha Evloev drives identical Mercedes and survived previous assassination
  • He is also Moscow representative for volatile region with terrorist problem
  • Kravchenko, 46, has also lived through two botched attempts on his life
  • His furniture business had been raided by police and set alight four times
  • Friend: ‘He knew he was in danger, but didn’t want to live in security bubble’

The murder of Princess Michael’s Russian ‘toyboy’ could have been a case of mistaken identity, according to the politician who believes he was the intended victim.

A senior official and neighbour, who drives an identical Mercedes car and was previously targeted by an assassination squad, has been told by police they are probing whether the killers got the wrong man.

Furniture tycoon Mikhail Kravchenko, 46, who accompanied the princess on a four-day break in Venice in 2006, was buried last week after he was gunned down just 50 yards from his home in an elite village near Moscow.

His neighbour, Vakha Evloev, 51, is the Moscow representative for Ingushetia, a volatile republic in the Caucasus region of southern Russia with a significant terrorist problem.

He said: ‘There is a suspicion that I was the true target, not Kravchenko, and they just mixed us up. We both drove dark blue Mercedes cars of the same model.’

But it also emerged today that Kravchenko knew for years that someone had wanted him dead after surviving two bungled murder attempts as well as four arson attacks at his Moscow factory.

It is understood Kravchenko – who despite his fears had no bodyguards – was killed close to Evloev’s high-security home near the historic village of Peredelkino, where writer Boris Pasternak penned Dr Zhivago.

‘I live not far from here and have CCTV cameras on my cottage, maybe they captured the killers,’ he said. ‘I have picked up the videotapes and passed them to police.’

Evloev is now understood to be under increased security.

A cousin of the ex-president of Ingushetia, Ruslan Aushev, Evloev was severely wounded in May 2008 when his car was shelled by automatic firearms in Nazran, the regional capital.

While the men do not look similar, the shooting – using handmade weapons – was at around 2am in a dimly lit lane.

Police say that Kravchenko, who built his business empire around his £130million-a-year March 8 furniture brand, was shot up to ten times before being hauled from his car and finished off with a bullet to the head.

Kravchenko’s circle claimed initially he had no enemies and was not concerned over his safety.

But a close friend has now said that he knew he was a marked man.

‘He knew he was in danger. We discussed it many times, but he didn’t want to live in a security bubble, the source told the Sunday Times.

‘He was reluctant to discuss security but, especially recently, he felt more at risk.’

After his funeral in Moscow last week, attended by several thousand mourners led by his elderly parents, friends also alleged he was under pressure from sinister forces seeking to grab his business assets.

He had been subjected to police raids in a move seen as pressurising him into giving up his assets.

The retail furniture business is seen as a notoriously shady sector in Russia and friends said he had battled various attempts to seize his company.

 

Kravchenko himself had complained of his sofa designs being pirated, yet he seemed unconcerned over any threats.

‘Mikhail had problems with the law-enforcement organs,’ insisted retail consultant Dmitry Potapenko, a close friend.

‘People were after his assets. The murder was not an accident. These people knew what they were doing. He was the head of the holding, he was the key figure, uniting the companies.’

He claimed collusion between the police and shadowy business figures led to Kravchenko’s murder.

Yet a close friend, famous TV presenter Nikolai Drozdov, with him shortly before he died, said Kravchenko was not concerned about his personal safety in his final hours.

‘He did not have a bodyguard, he drove himself everywhere in an old Mercedes,’ he said.

Another close business ally said: ‘This version of mistaken identity is certainly possible.’

Police are understood to be working on a number of theories and are checking his computers and mobile phone for clues.

Kravchenko was at the centre of a royal scandal in 2006 after being photographed hand-in-hand with the married princess in Venice, raising questions about the state of her marriage to Queen’s cousin Prince Michael of Kent.

Both denied an affair.

The princess – and her husband, who also knew Kravchenko – was last week said to be ‘very distressed’ over her friend’s murder.

Mix-up? Vakha Evloev (left), a senior official and neighbour of Kravchenko (below) says police are looking at whether he was the intended target. Story Credit: Daily Mail – Will Stewart / Photo Credit: Daily Mail

 

Mikhail Kravchenko. Photo Credit: Daily Mail

 

Wrong man? Mikhail Kravchenko, pictured in a gondola on a four-day break in Venice with Princess Michael of Kent in 2006, may have been gunned down mistakenly by killers looking for one of his neighbors. Story Credit: Daily Mail – Will Stewart / Photo Credit: Daily Mail

Princess Marie-Christine Of Kent Rumored “Toyboy” Tycoon Mikhail Kravchenko Brutally Murdered (Photos)

Blogged By: La Tray

Source & Story Credit: Daily Mail – Will Stewart

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

Posted: Sunday May 20, 2012 @2:58 p.m. PST

 

  • Mikhail Kravchenko caused a royal scandal after being pictured holding hands with the princess
  • The 46-year-old furniture company tycoon’s bullet-ridden body was found in his Mercedes
  • The princess denied an affair with eligible friend Kravchenko, but many believed otherwise
  • Police in Moscow are investigating but say the reason why he was targeted remains a mystery

Princess Michael’s Russian friend once dubbed her ‘toyboy’ was shot and killed near Moscow early today in what appears to be a brutal contract murder.

Mikhail Kravchenko, a 46-year-old furniture company tycoon, caused a royal scandal after he and the princess were photographed holding hands and staring lovingly into each other’s eyes as they wandered round Venice during a four day holiday in April 2006.

His bullet-riddled body was found in his Mercedes car at the elite Peredelkino country house neighbourhood close to the Russian capital.

At the time, the princess denied an affair, though many believed the photographs suggested otherwise.

The pictures, originally in the News of the World, raised significant doubts about the state of her royal marriage to Prince Michael of Kent.

‘The body of a man with a gunshot wounds was found at a Mercedes in the Peredelkino neighbourhood,’ said a police source.

Russian news agency Itar-Tass another other sources reported the victim was millionaire Kravchenko.

The immediate reasons why he was targeted are unknown.

He was driving from his home in his limonene around 2am when he was overtaken and the road blocked, say police.

Gunmen shot him five times in his body before dragging him from his car and shooting him in the head.

Some accounts said there were a total of ten shots.

When she was seen with him in Venice, Kravchenko was regarded as one of Moscow’s most eligible men. He has been single since his wife Svetlana and daughter Maria were killed in a car crash five years earlier.

He was also seen as more modest and unassuming than many wealthy Russian businessmen. He would often be seen without bodyguards, a rarity for the new-rich elite in Moscow.

After the pictures were revealed, the princess claimed in Hello magazine: ‘I hold hands with all my friends. I don’t think that’s being intimate at all. I’m a very tactile person. The true nature of our relationship is that it is a very good friendship.’

Her marriage to Prince Michael, the Queen’s cousin, was ‘very strong’.

The princess later worked as a design consultant to Kravchenko who runs several hundred furniture stores across Russia, including the brand March 8, one of the best known in Russia.

The royal couple were later seen together with Kravchenko at a charity event in Russia.

Later in 2006, Kravchenko became seriously ill with malaria while making a travel film in Kenya with a Russian TV crew.

He was flown home. At the time a spokesman for the princess said: ‘As friends, the Prince and Princess are naturally concerned.’

Prince Michael was in Russia last week without the princess. He flew to St Petersburg to be awarded with a degree by a Russian university for services to British-Russian relations.

The prince was mired in controversy last week after revelations he had accepted £320,000 in secret payments from Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, a leading foe of President Vladimir Putin.

The payments via an offshore company from Berezovsky – who is exiled in London – were disclosed in court documents.

 

PRINCESS MARIE–CHRISTINE OF KENT WIFE OF HRH PRINCE MICHAEL OF KENT WITH MICHAEL KRAVCHENKO.Hand-in-hand: Princess Michael of Kent with Russian millionaire Mikhail Kravchenko in Venice, where they spent four days together. Kravchenko was found dead today. Story Credit: Daily Mail Photo Credit: Daily Mail

 

PRINCESS MARIE–CHRISTINE OF KENT WIFE OF HRH PRINCE MICHAEL OF KENT WITH MICHAEL KRAVCHENKO. Princess Michael of Kent with Russian millionaire Mikhail Kravchenko were alleged to have shared a suite at the Cipriani, one of Venice’s most glamorous hotels. Story Credit: Will Stewart / Photo Credit: Daily Mail

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 728 other followers

%d bloggers like this: