Bertelsmann exec murdered in Russia

Pisareva killed with rare ornamental dagger

BERLIN — The deputy head of a Bertelsmann publishing group in Russia has been found stabbed to death in her summer cottage outside Moscow.

Marina Pisareva was the production manager at Bertelsmann Media Moscow, a small publishing house owned by DirectGroup Bertelsmann that has been active in Russia since 1992 and focuses on illustrated books.

Moscow prosecutors, who have launched a murder investigation, said Monday that Pisareva, 47, was stabbed in the neck with what appeared to be her own knife, a rare ornamental dagger. Her body was found Sunday in her summer home in Odintsovo outside Moscow. Initial police inquiries suggest nothing was stolen from the holiday home.

In a written statement, Direct Group said: “We wish to express our deepest sympathy with Ms. Pisarewa’s relatives. Based on information available to us, there is no connection between the crime and our business activities in Russia.”

Bertelsmann, Europe’s biggest media company, owns Random House publishers and the RTL broadcasting group that has TV channels and radio stations in 10 countries across Europe. In addition to its publishing activities in the country, RTL also owns a 30% stake in Russia’s Ren TV.

Pisareva is the latest media figure murdered in Russia. Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist and critic of the Kremlin, and Paul Klebnikov, U.S. editor of Forbes’s Russian edition, were both shot to death in Moscow in recent years.

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