A Russian dancer, Natalia Pronina, 30, was shot dead this week on a Moscow street after allegedly having an affair with a politician.
Pronina was hunted down by a masked assassin as she returned home from a choreography session, according to reports.
The assassin wearing a hoodie fired a pistol from close range with a non-lethal self-defence gun redesigned for shooting with real bullets.
Police sources believe the shooter may have been a contract killer paid to assassinate her.
Pronina had been in a long term but secret relationship with a wealthy man – believed to be an MP, reports Russian magazine, Moskovsky Komsomolets.
They had been dating until this summer when the MP’s wife allegedly learned about the affair and started threatening her.
Her boyfriend, Alexander Kravchenko, 33, has denied responsibility for the murder and said he was in Yalta in the Crimea, where he works, at the time.
He also claimed she had a stalker and that she had a £6,000 debt that she needed to repay.
In another twist to the tale, her friends have suggested she was killed on the orders of someone whose advances she had rejected.
A friend named Valeria told Komsomolskaya Pravda: “Only one of her admirers could be behind this because of jealousy.”
A former dancing colleague Anzhelika appeared to back the theory a spurned admirer could have been behind the killing.
“Natasha not only danced beautifully, she is a real beauty,” she said.
“Men always clung to her and it is possible that one of the rejected fans could have killed her.
But she added: “She did not have a serious relationship. She was not the type who dreams of a white dress and a bunch of kids.
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