FLASHBACK: Top Russian Diplomat Was Shot Dead In Moscow Just Hours Before Assassination In Turkey
A top Russian diplomat was found dead in his Moscow apartment Monday, just hours after Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey was shot dead at an art exhibit in Ankara.
Petr Polshikov, 56, was discovered with a bullet wound to the head, according to reports. The announcement came just hours after Ambassador Andrey Karlov was assassinated in Ankara. (RELATED: A Photographer Caught The Exact Moment A Terrorist Gunned Down A Russian Ambassador)
Two empty bullet shells were found in the apartment, and a gun was discovered under the sink in the bathroom, according to the UK’s Evening Standard. His wife was also reportedly home at the time of the killing, but was safe in another room. Police are exploring all possibilities at the time being.
Polshikov was a senior figure in the Latin American department of the Russian foreign ministry. While there are some reports that the career-diplomat had left the Ministry, it was unclear if he was currently working for another branch of the Russian government at the time of his death.
[VIDEO] WARNING: GRAPHIC
(Video reportedly shows Polshikov’s body being removed from his Moscow apartment: YouTube)
Mevlut Mert Altintas shot Ambassador Karlov during an art exhibit Monday in Ankara. The assassination rocked what was supposed to be an event designed to build upon thawing relations between the two countries.
Karlov, a career diplomat who previously served as Russian ambassador to North Korea, was shot dead while speaking at an Ankara Art Exhibit Monday. The assailant, described by Turkish officials as a 22-year-old off duty police officer, shouted “Allahu Akbar!” and “don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria!” He fired eight shots into the back of the unsuspecting ambassador.
Altintas, who continued to shout while encircling the incapacitated ambassador’s body, was killed 15 minutes later by Turkish police. It is unclear as to what the security arrangements were for the Ambassador during the event.
“Only death will remove me from here. Everyone who has taken part in this oppression will one by one pay for it,” Altintas said, alluding to the ongoing unrest in Syria, specifically Aleppo. Russia and Turkey have started to mend ties after a diplomatic fall out last year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the assassination was designed to “spoil” diplomatic relations between Russia and Turkey, as well as to “derail the peace process in Syria.”
While many questions remain in the Moscow-death, there is no evidence at this time that directly connects the two killings.