MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. A funeral service for Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov, killed in Ankara on December 19, has begun in Moscow. The ceremony is taking place in the entrance hall of the Foreign Ministry’s main building.
Servicemen of the Preobrazhensky Regiment of the Russian Armed Forces are carrying the guard of honor. Family members and the Foreign Ministry staff are bidding farewell to the departed ambassador.
Security measures have been tightened in the area.
The Russian president has paid his last respects to Andrey Karlov. Putin attended the funeral ceremony at the foreign ministry’s building and laid burgundy roses at the coffin. He also conveyed his condolences to the family of the departed ambassador - his mother, widow, son and sister.
The President paid respects to Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, killed in a terrorist attack in Ankara https://t.co/mzw5rCjGNP pic.twitter.com/SHFRtv8n5h— President of Russia (@KremlinRussia_E) 22 December 2016
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also bid their final farewells to the departed ambassador. Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who knew Karlov personally and worked at the Russian embassy in Turkey himself, also laid flowers beside the casket.
On Wednesday, Putin awarded Andrey Karlov a Hero of Russia title posthumously.
In order to attend the funeral ceremony, the president had postponed his annual press conference.
Head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, will conduct a pre-burial prayer service for Karlov in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
Russia’s ambassador Andrey Karlov was assassinated as he was opening a photography exhibition in Ankara on Monday, December 19. The killer, who was eliminated by the Turkish police during a special operation, was later identified as a 22-year old Turkish riot police officer.