Putin postpones major press conference to mourn slain ambassador

Russian President Vladimir Putin has postponed his annual press conference by one day to Friday so he can attend a mourning ceremony for the slain ambassador to Turkey, the Kremlin said.

A funeral service for Ambassador Andrey Karlov will take place on Thursday at Moscow’s prestigious Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, to be presided over by the Russian Orthodox Church’s highest-ranking clergyman, Patriarch Kirill.

Karlov was fatally shot at an art gallery in Ankara on Monday night by a gunman identified as a Turkish law enforcement officer who shouted Islamist slogans and denounced Russia’s military campaign in Syria.

Putin’s typically hours-long press conference to highlight major issues concerning the country as the new year approaches is expected to be overshadowed by the assassination and related security concerns.

“Putin will likely extol Russia’s victories in the fight against terrorism in Syria and say that such victories never come easy,” Russian political analyst Mikhail Troitskiy told dpa.

A record number of journalists – more than 1,400 – have been accredited for Putin’s press conference in Moscow, state media reported. GNA

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