An accomplished Russian dancer was shot dead in Moscow by an unknown attacker for reportedly having an affair with a married politician. Surveillance camera footage shows an assassin approaching Natalia Pronina, 30, from the shadows and then firing two shots from close range, as the dancer collapses on the street. The incident happened when Pronina was returning from a choreography session.
The killer dropped the weapon and fled, say reports citing law enforcement. Police are investigating a "contract killing" angle but are yet to make any arrests. Police sources have indicated this footage has so far not helped track the shooter.
Spine Chilling Incident
The harrowing video shows a masked assassin appearing from nowhere and then approaching Pronina. He then stops and shoots Pronina from a close range, with both the bullets hitting her chest. The shooting took place close to her high-rise apartment block near Akademicheskaya metro station.
The striking brunette can be seen immediately collapsing, while the killer drops the gun and flees the scene. The unidentified attacker reportedly also released a stun grenade to distract attention from the shooting. Pronina, who had won several international dance competitions, including in the UK, was rushed to a hospital, where she underwent surgery, but died two hours later, East2West News reported.
It's still not known why Pronina was killed. Friend Valeria told local tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda: "She had no enemies, I can say with absolute certainty. Only one of her admirers could be behind this because of jealousy."
Romantic Liaison with Minister?
Police, however, is trying to explore a different theory that Pronina had been in a long term but secret relationship with a wealthy man – believed to be an MP – who trained in martial arts. "They had been dating until this summer, when the MP's wife learned about the affair," said a report in a local newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.
Pronina reportedly also received threats from the MP's wife. It was also reported that the assassin was dressed in a hoodie and wearing a mask and glasses and had used a non-lethal self-defense gun redesigned for shooting with real bullets.
The name of the MP hasn't been revealed and it's still not known how long their affair was. But that is not where the story ends. Pronina also had a boyfriend Alexander Kravchenko, 33, who has denied any involvement in the murder and said he was working in Yalta in the Crimea at the time, the Sun reported.
Kravchenko also claimed she had a stalker and separately that she had a £6,000 — about $8,000 — debt that she had to repay. There could be multiple theories to the gruesome murder of the dancer but police is yet to zero in on any clue and trace the suspect.