The operation for ransoming LUKoil Senior Vice President Sergey Kukuracould take place today, RTR television reported, referring to a policesource. Yesterday, an unidentified person called the LUKoil telephone hotline and demanded a ransom of $6m for the abducted LUKoil official. Later,LUKoil security officers followed instructions from the kidnappers andfound a packet with a videotape and Polaroid photographs of Kukura datedSeptember 14 at the Pykhtinskoye cemetery. In the video record, Mr. Kukurarepeated the demands of his kidnappers.The LUKoil press service refused to comment on information about theoperation of ransoming the abducted official, scheduled for today. Thesource explained the refusal by unwillingness to hamper the investigation.A representative of the Russian oil giant was surprised that so muchinformation about the course of the investigation was leaking from thepolice to the press..
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election