President Vladimir Putin will attend as Russia buries slain ambassador Andrei Karlov tomorrow, the Kremlin said, days after he was gunned down in Ankara by a Turkish policeman. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov today said Putin had decided to postpone his major annual press conference scheduled for the same day to Friday in order to attend the farewell events for Karlov. “The president will take part in the mourning ceremonies,” Peskov told Russian news agencies.
Veteran diplomat Karlov was shot nine times in the back by off-duty Turkish policeman Mevlut Mert Altintas at the art gallery opening of a show of Russian photography on Monday. His body arrived back in Moscow late yesterday after Russian investigators landed in Turkey to help probe the assassination. The brazen killing stunned Ankara and Moscow, which have rowed repeatedly over the Syria conflict but had recently begun to cooperate closely on the evacuations from war-wrecked Aleppo.
The Turkish government has pointed the finger of blame for the killing at exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu telling the US that his group was “behind the attack”.