• ACI Russia

08/11/1998 11:51:46 Unpaid Russian kills accountant, wounds boss

MOSCOW, Aug 11 (Reuters) - A Russian worker who had not been

paid for months shot dead his company's accountant and wounded

its director, an official said on Tuesday.

A spokesman at the regional governor's office in Volgograd

in southern Russia said by telephone that the man, who worked at

a local firm which supplies fertilisers, had been told by his

boss last Thursday that he was unable to pay him.

The employee, who had a criminal record, returned to the

director's office later on Thursday with a sawn-off shotgun and

shot and wounded him. A woman accountant, who happened to be in

the office at the time, was killed accidentally.

"He was not drunk. When the police came and took him away,

he was asked why he did it. He said: 'Because I had not been

paid'," the spokesman said.

Many Russians have not been paid for months. The government

says low tax revenues have left it short of money to pay workers

in the public sector, which includes doctors and teachers.

Wage arrears have also piled up at many other companies,

including private firms, in a circle of debt in which companies

are short of money because the firms they supply cannot pay for

their deliveries.

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