Seda Ghukasyan

Benefactor and Businessman Levon Hayrapetyan Dies in Russian Prison

Levon Hayrapetyan, a Russian-Armenian benefactor serving a four-year sentence for swindling $700,000 from the mother of former Russian senator Igor V. Izmestiev, died today at the age of 68 in the Mordovia Maximum Security Prison.

Hayrapetyan, a native of Vank, a village in Karabakh, is said to be the largest investor in the country since proclaiming its independence from Azerbaijan. He financed the reconstruction of the Gantzasar Monastery and the construction of the Artsakh North-South Highway in that part of the country,among other projects.

Supporters of Hayrapetyan argued that his imprisonment was politically motivated.

Hayrapetyan’s last wish was to be buried alongside his parents.

Igor Izmestiev, an entrepreneur who served as a senator from the Bashkortostan region from 2001 to 2006, was convicted to life in prison by a Russian court for organizing multiple homicides, as well as an attempt on the life then Bashkortostani President Murtaza Rakhimov’s son. Investigators argued that Izmestiev had ties to a notorious mafia based in Kingisepp, outside St. Petersburg.