A high-ranking Russian diplomat has been found dead in his Moscow, Russia, home from a gunshot wound to the head.
Petr Polshikov, 56, the chief advisor to the Latin American department at the Foreign Ministry, was killed hours before Mevlut Mert Altintas, an off-duty Ankara policeman, shot the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, during his speech at an art gallery, the Independent reports.
Two empty bullet shells were found in Polshikov’s apartment, according to a report by Ren TV that was translated by The Daily Mail.
A gun was found under the bathroom sink.
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Polshikov’s wife was reportedly in the apartment when the shooting took place but was unharmed.
The Russian Foreign Affairs ministry expressed its condolences to Polshikov’s family in a statement, but said that his death was not related to his work, according to the Independent.
There is no evidence that the killing of Polshikov is related to Karlov’s murder, in which 22-year-old Altintas reportedly yelled “Allahu Akbar,” meaning “God is Great,” and stated the attack was for Aleppo, the Syrian city where airstrikes by Russia have been occurring for months to combat ISIS.
“Don’t forget Aleppo. Don’t forget Syria. Unless our towns are secure, you won’t enjoy security,” Altintas shouted, according to The Guardian. “Only death can take me from here. Everyone who is involved in this suffering will pay a price.”
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Altintas, who was not known to be radicalized, was killed at the gallery 15 minutes after shooting Karlov.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the attack was “undoubtedly” aimed at disrupting relations between the country and Turkey.
“The crime that was committed is without doubt a provocation aimed at disrupting the normalization of Russian-Turkish relations and disrupting the peace process in Syria that is being actively advanced by Russia, Turkey and Iran,” he said.
Ban Ki-moon, the outgoing UN Secretary-general, called it a “senseless act of terror.”