Moscow pays last respect to Ambassador Andrey Karlov
Moscow staged a memorial ceremony on Thursday for the Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, who was gunned down in Ankara on Monday. Diplomats and family members gathered at the Russian Foreign Ministry in central Moscow, to bid farewell to Karlov.
Proceedings will move to Moscow's gold-domed Christ the Saviour Cathedral later on Thursday where the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill will lead a ceremony.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the memorial ceremony. He laid dark-red roses beside the casket, said farewell and offered his condolences to the relatives of the diplomat. The President also spoke to the Ambassador's widow and son.
The Russian President postponed his big press conference, which was scheduled for this day, to take part in the ceremony. Earlier, he described it as "cowardly murder" and a provocation aimed at hampering the normalization of Russia-Turkey relations and the Syrian settlement.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also has come to pay last respects to Andrey Karlov, laying dark-red roses and offering his condolences to the relatives.
Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov, who was killed in Turkey, was a man of the highest human qualities, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, noting that Karlov "fell victim to the vile terrorist attack".
"He was sympathetic, and he made a great contribution to the development of relations between our countries," Lavrov said at a ceremony of civil funeral, which is taking place in the Foreign Ministry building.
Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, gave his life for the sake of victory over international terrorism, the head of the Federation Council international committee, Konstantin Kosachev, said.
"Those who raised a hand against Ambassador Karlov, who took his life will definitely fail in their attempts to stop Russia from co-operating with other countries including Turkey," he stressed.