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MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin has postponed his annual end-of-year press conference in order to attend the funeral of the assassinated Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

The plane carrying the body of Andrei Karlov, the murdered Russian ambassador to Turkey, arrived in Moscow on Tuesday evening.

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Russian and Turkish Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Mevlut Cavusoglu accompanied Karlov’s wife and mother down the steps of the plane.

Karlov’s wife, Marina Karlova, wept as the honor guard carried her husband’s flag-draped coffin off the plane and placed it into a hearse.

Karlov was shot dead in front of stunned onlookers on Monday at an exhibition in Ankara. His attacker, later identified as an off-duty policeman, shot the diplomat multiple times while shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic).

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The killer also made references to the crisis in Syria and Aleppo after the shooting, saying that those involved in the Syrian conflict “will pay for it one by one.” The assailant was later killed by Turkish special forces.

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The assassination came after days of protests in Turkey over Moscow’s support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and Russia’s role in the bombardment and destruction of rebel parts of Aleppo.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that Moscow considered the killing of its ambassador to be a terrorist act.

The funeral ceremony of the slain Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, will take place on Thursday.

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“The major press conference will start at noon on Friday, December 23,” Kremlin’s press secretary Peskov told the reporters.

 

Source: Russia Today