27 February 1937|
Tbilisi, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union
|Died||16 January 2013
Aslan Ûsoyan (Russian: Аслан Усоян; 27 February 1937 – 16 January 2013), also known as "Grandpa Hassan" (Kurdish: Bapîr Hesen; Russian: Дед Хасан Ded Hasan) was an ethnic Kurdish Yezidi mobster and thief in law, who began his career operating in Georgia, continued in Moscow, Ural, Siberia, Uzbekistan, Krasnodar, Sochi, and other parts of the former Soviet Union. According to The Economist, he was "reputed to be Russia’s mafia boss."
Starting in 2007, Ûsoyan was embroiled in a gang war with Georgian mobster Tariel Oniani, who was seeking to reestablish himself in Moscow. Several of Ûsoyan's top lieutenants were killed including the Armenian national Alek Minalyan, a man allegedly in charge of extorting construction firms working on the 2014 Winter Olympics. In July 2008 police raided Oniani's yacht as a meeting took place amongst the criminal leaders in an attempt to settle the conflict. Ûsoyan was not however amongst those detained. He later gave an interview to a newspaper, denying the stories of escalating violence and stated that "We are a peaceful people and don't bother anybody, we are for peace in order to prevent lawlessness".
Vyacheslav Ivankov was brought in to mediate the conflict, in which he sided with Ûsoyan's faction. He was however shot by a sniper while leaving a Moscow restaurant in July 2009, and died of his wounds in October that year. Although he did not attend, Ûsoyan sent an elaborate wreath to Ivankov's funeral saying "To our brother from Grandpa Hassan".
In April 2010, Ûsoyan was arrested by Ukrainian security forces after entering the country illegally using false documents. His business in Ukraine was allegedly connected to a rift with an Armenian organized crime group. On 16 September 2010, Ûsoyan was shot by a 9mm calibre bullet fired by an unidentified assailant in central Moscow, but survived the attack along with his bodyguard who was also wounded. It was at first announced to the press that Ûsoyan had died to ensure his safety.
In the early 2010s the Obama administration placed sanctions on members of the alleged criminal organisation the Brothers’ Circle. It has been speculated that the so-called Circle is a stand-in for Ûsoyan's network.
Alleged ties to PKK
Ûsoyan, an ethnic Kurd, was rumoured to be one of the suppliers of illicit weapons to Kurdish separatist movements, PKK that is fighting an armed struggle against the Turkish state for an autonomous Kurdistan and cultural and political rights for the Kurds in Turkey.
On 16 January 2013, Ûsoyan was shot in the head by a sniper perched on the sixth floor of an adjacent apartment building after leaving a restaurant which served as his 'office', and despite efforts of his bodyguards and ambulance workers he died en route to the hospital. The family decided to fly Ûsoyan's body to be buried in his native Tbilisi, but the Tbilisi International Airport refused to accept the plane. His death is thought to be likely to spur chaos in the criminal world. The day Usoyan was shot dead, an Armenian crime fiction writer, Sergey Galoyan said, in a conversation with a local news website, that the mafia king's murder might be linked to a certain unrest in the criminal world, particularly the construction of the Sochi Olympic facilities which are said to have attracted considerable investments.
- He is famous and known by American Media producers. In the pilot episode of The Blacklist (TV series), he is mentioned as Vor Usoyan.
- "King of Russian Mafia ‘Grandpa Hassan’ killed by sniper in Moscow". RT. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- Schreck, Carl. The Who's Who of Moscow mobsters, The National, 5 August 2009. Accessed April 24, 2012.
- http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21570721-upsurge-violence-streets-points-rising-instability-fathers-and-sons Organised crime in Russia: Fathers and sons
- Shuster, Simon. Will New Laws Help Russia Take Down the Mafia?, TIME Magazine, 13 October 2009. Accessed 24 April 2012.
- Schwirtz, Michael. In a River Raid, a Glimpse of Russia's Criminal Elite, The New York Times, 30 July 2008. Accessed 24 April 2012.
- Franchetti, Mark. Russia salutes its mafia as the good guys, The Times, 25 October 2009.
- Gazeta.ru - Деда Хасана приняли у трапа (Russian)
- Russian Mafia Boss Survives Shooting
- Mark Galeotti - Another Go Round the ‘Brothers’ Circle’
- The death of Moscow's Don: Aslan Usoyan gunned down outside his favourite restaurant, The Independent
- Tahiri, Hussein. The Structure of Kurdish Society and the Struggle for a Kurdish State. Costa Mesa, California: Mazda Publications 2007. pp 232 ff
- Gazeta.ru - МВД сообщило о смерти Деда Хасана в результате покушения
- Tbilisi airport does not accept plane with body of Grandpa Hassan mafia boss. Trend.az. 19 January 2013.
- Radio Free Europe: Mob Wars: A Vor For A Vor