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Killing of glamour model-bodyguard stuns Moscow

  • Story Highlights
  • Russian model-and-bodyguard killed in Moscow during carjacking
  • Editor: "I feel that she was not afraid of anything"
  • In last interview, she said she smashed would-be carjacker in face four months ago
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By Matthew Chance
CNN
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MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Anna Loginova was, for many Russians, a feminine icon -- bridging the glamorous world of modeling and the murky depths of Russian crime.

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Anna Loginova is photographed in one of her last shoots for the Russian edition of Maxim magazine.

But this week, the stunning Loginova became a victim of the criminals she made sure could not get to her millionaire clients. She was killed trying to stop a thief stealing her own car on a busy Moscow street.

As a glamour model, 29-year-old Loginova often appeared on the covers of Russian magazines, scantily clad. She fronted advertisements for high-profile brands in Russia, like the German carmaker BMW.

But behind the glossy images, Loginova had another profession: She was an experienced bodyguard, trained in martial arts, commanding high prices to protect Russia's wealthy elite. One notable client was Russian boxer Kostya Tszyu. Video Watch editor describe how she never had fear »

Having a female bodyguard is more than just a status symbol in Russia. Industry insiders say women bodyguards are not recognizable and, thus, allowed to sit at tables with their clients during dinners and other events -- unlike their male peers who are usually forced to wait in the lobby.

Those who knew Loginova say she was passionate about her double life, saying she saw no contradiction between her femininity and her dangerous job as a bodyguard.

"She was kind and sweet, not like a terminator, not like Sigourney Weaver in 'Aliens,'" said Igor Cherski, editor of Maxim magazine's Russian edition, which commissioned her last glamour shoot.

"But I feel that she was not afraid of anything. There was no fear in her eyes," he added.

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It seems that fearlessness may have gotten her killed. On a busy street in southeastern Moscow on Sunday night, police say they recovered her battered body after she tried to prevent her Porsche Cayenne from being stolen -- clinging on to the high-end SUV as it sped away. The vehicle was later found abandoned.

"According to eyewitnesses, an intruder just threw her out of the car," explains Oleg Pavlov, a special police investigator in charge of the investigation.

"She grabbed the door handle, but when the car took off and picked up speed, she let go."

No one has been arrested in connection with the killing.

Russian media have been giving the killing prominent coverage, with witnesses expressing their shock that this kind of crime could happen.

But luxury car theft in Moscow is not uncommon, and Loginova herself was no stranger to it. In her last magazine interview, she described how she foiled another carjacking just four months ago as she parked her car outside a flashy Moscow fashion boutique.

"So while I was closing my car, a guy of 30 years old or slightly older jumped on me," Loginova said. "So I did a jujitsu move -- I bent his hand that grabbed mine, and struck him in the face with my elbow. It was a total surprise for him.

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"As he was leaning back covering his face, I pulled a pistol from my bag and aimed it at him. He obviously realized that was no joke," she said. "Then a car immediately pulled up nearby, something like a Honda, a dark car, and he jumped into it. And I still stood there with my pistol. I was actually spooked too."

That experience apparently emboldened Loginova to defend her car for a second time. But she was overwhelmed. Even the formidable skills of Russia's most famous -- and glamorous -- bodyguard couldn't save her. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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