MOSCOW – The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday refused to offer theories behind Monday’s assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey but indicated that Moscow doesn’t believe the gunman acted on his own.
“We shouldn’t rush with any theories before the investigators establish who were behind the assassination of our ambassador,” said spokesman Dmitry Peskov, though he offered no theories about who those people might be.
The ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was killed Monday evening in front of stunned onlookers at a photo exhibition in Ankara. The assassin, Mevlut Mert Altintas of Ankara’s riot police squad, was killed in a police operation.
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On Tuesday, Russia flew a team of 18 investigators and foreign ministry officials to Turkey to take part in the probe. Their plane returned with Karlov’s body and his family home. Russian officials and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu who was visiting Moscow met the family at the Vnukovo airport late on Tuesday.
Ankara has not made public any theories. But a senior Turkish government official, who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release details to the press, said it was unlikely Altintas acted alone.
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The official said the killing had all the marks of being “fully professional, not a one-man action.”
Peskov told reporters that Moscow on Wednesday the Kremlin will wait for the investigation to wrap up before voicing any theories.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian State Duma voted on a resolution that urged authorities to take extra steps to protect Russian diplomats abroad.