Sergey Furgal
© Russia’s Investigative Committee
Federal Security Service agents have arrested Sergey Furgal, the governor of Russia's Khabarovsk Region, on suspicion of organizing the murders of multiple businessmen over a decade ago.

The politician is accused of running a criminal gang and ordering the assassination of "a number of entrepreneurs" between 2004 and 2005. Russia's Investigative Committee shared a video of Furgal's arrest in a Thursday morning raid, but few details about the investigation.

According to a source from TASS news agency, the case includes "at least two episodes of murder and one attempted murder" - the murders of Yevgeny Zori in 2004 and Oleg Bulatov in 2005, and the attempted assassination of businessman Alexander Smolsky.

Besides Governor Furgal, the authorities previously arrested four other alleged members of the same organized crime group, based in Russia's Far East.


Furgal has been governor since September 2018, and is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party. In the last election, he beat incumbent Vyacheslav Shport, the candidate from Russia's ruling political party, United Russia. Before becoming a politician, Furgal headed a company that traded timber, and then a scrap iron business.

In 2019, the authorities arrested another man that once held the same post as Furgal - former Khabarovsk Region Governor Viktor Ishaev. He is accused of embezzlement, stealing money from state oil company Rosneft. Ishaev was a member of United Russia, and following his stint as governor, was chosen by Putin to be his presidential plenipotentiary envoy in the Far East.

The leader of Furgal's party, long-time politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, expressed bewilderment that it took 15 years for the authorities to arrest the governor, and refused to expel him from the party.

"The detention was not conducted in the most correct way. It was not necessary to handcuff him. The governor is not a criminal and will not run away. You could just offer to get into the car and drive on," he said.

The political veteran also suggested that all of the party's MPs may resign from the national parliament, the State Duma, in protest over the arrest.

According to media reports, Furgal will be fired by Russian President Vladimir Putin due to a loss of confidence.