Four dead Russian diplomats in three months
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations died unexpectedly in New York on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry has revealed.
Published: February 21, 2017, 12:57 pm
Vitaly Churkin’s was the latest in a series of deaths of influential Russian civil servants, all posted to foreign countries.
On the 31st of December, 2016, Churkin’s resolution on a ceasefire in Syria passed in the UN Security Council after months of deadlock and is still in force. Churkin’s intellectual prowess was well-known as he regularly and calmly out-performed liberal interventionists.
At least five deaths have resulted in the emergence of a macabre pattern, says Adam Garrie, columnist for The Duran.
“First there was Russia’s RT founder and special adviser to President Putin, Mikhail Lesin. He died in November of 2015 in his hotel room. Reports said that he appeared discombobulated during his last sighting before he died. Later it emerged that he died of a blunt head trauma,” says Garrie.
Earlier last month, Andrei Malanin, a Senior Russian diplomat to Greece was found dead in his bathroom. The cause of death remains unknown, but the Greek police said they were investigating foul play. The diplomat was found lying on his back on the bedroom floor, a police source told AFP, adding that there were no signs of forced entry. “The first signs show a pathological cause of death, but we are investigating nonetheless,” the officer said.
Malanin had overseen a period of improved relations between Greece and Russia at a time when Greece is feeling increasingly alienated from both the EU and NATO. “Many fear that if ‘Grexit’ happens, Russia will become an increasingly important partner for Greece,” explains Garrie.
Last month, Russia’s Ambassador to India, Alexander Kadakin, also died suddenly of a heart attack, although no one was aware of any previous health issues. India is regarded by civil servants as an important posting. Kadakin oversaw a period of renewed tensions between India and Pakistan, but maintained a balanced relationship with both. In that singular capacity, Kadakin also would have been able to mediate in conflict resolutions between New Delhi and Islamabad, as Russia had done in Syria.
In December last year Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov was assassinated by a gun-toting policeman in an art gallery in Ankara. The assassin simply walked up to the ambassador and shot him multiple times in the back while Karlov was giving his opening speech. The cold-blooded murder was recorded live and broadcast on television. Karlov was instrumental in helping to facilitate a rapprochement between Presidents Erdogan and Putin regarding Syria.
Soon after Karlov’s assassination, the body of the former Greek ambassador to Russia, was found in a burned out car in Brazil.
According to Garrie the motive could have been the “derailment of restored Russo-Turkish relations” a possible thorn in the sides of those who want Syrian president Assad gone.
Garrie speculates that each of the recently deceased Russian envoys “were high profile targets for miscreants and criminals, whether state actors, mercenaries or fanatics”.
He adds that “each death took place on foreign soil”, where it seems many in the Russian diplomatic corps and related institutions, even healthy individuals, are strangely prone to sudden heart attacks.
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