News and Commentary

ANOTHER High-Ranking Russian Diplomat Dead

Soon after the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, which was carried out in retaliation for Russia’s involvement in Syria, another high-ranking Russian diplomat has died from gun wounds.

Petr Polshikov, 56, who served in the Russian foreign ministry’s Latin American division, was found dead in his home in Moscow’s Balaklavsky Prospekt from a bullet wound to his head.

According to Russian network REN TV, two empty bullet shells were recovered from the apartment and a gun was found under the bathroom sink. ​

So far, police have not provided details about the circumstances of the shooting and have not connected it to the assassination of Karlov, who was murdered on Monday by a member of Ankara’s riot police; however, officials say they are investigating all possibilities.

In a shocking moment caught on video, an assassin, identified by authorities as Mert Alintas, approached Ambassador Karlov while he was making a speech at a modern art museum in Ankara, Turkey, on Monday. Declaring, “Don’t forget about Aleppo, don’t forget about Syria!” and “Allahu Akbar!” Alintas shot Karlov dead.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have spoken at least once since the assassination, which threatens to further deepen tensions between the two countries. Russia and Turkey have taken opposing sides in the Syrian war; Russia openly backs Syria’s government, led by Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey has been providing support to anti-Assad Sunni rebel groups. The recent atrocities carried out by Assad’s forces in Aleppo have escalated the situation.

More on the Aleppo conflict.

More on the assassination of Karlov.