6th Death: A dangerous time to be a Russian diplomat


August 24 , 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

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Vesti– translated by Inessa Sinchougova

On the night of August 24, it became known that the Russian ambassador to the Sudan, Mirgayas Shirinsky, had died.  The Russian embassy noted that the reason, most likely, were health problems, before the Sudanese police ruled out the version of the assassination attempt . However, this death is the 6th death of high ranking Russian diplomatic staff in recent years. Outside of the murder of Mr Karlov, Ambassador to Turkey – is there foul play at work, or is the job particularly stressful?

1) August 2017: the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in the Sudan

Russian ambassador to Sudan, 62-year-old Mirgayas Shirinsky, embassy officials found in their own residence on the evening of August 23 with “signs of an acute heart attack.” The doctors were immediately called in, but the diplomat could not be saved. The Sudanese police almost immediately stated that they did not consider the version of the premeditated murder, and the death was most likely due to natural causes. This information was confirmed by the spokesman of the Russian diplomatic mission in the Sudan, Sergei Konyashin.

#2) February 2017: the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations.

Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, died in New York on February 20, 2017, the day before the 65th anniversary. As noted in the message of the Russian Foreign Ministry , the diplomat “passed away on the job” – he was found unconscious in his office in the building of the Russian diplomatic mission in Manhattan. According to the American media, Vitaliy Churkin was ill before that.

The New York authorities refused to name the official reason for the death of the diplomat because of the need to observe protocol, but in March one of the American officials, on condition of anonymity, said that there was no suspicion of a criminal component, and the cause of death was a heart attack .

#3) January 2017: the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in India

Alexander Kadakin, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in India, died in a hospital in New Delhi on January 26 at the age of 67.  His death was reported by Indian authorities as natural causes, after a short illness.

Kadakin led the Russian diplomatic mission from November 2009, dealing with the development of Russian-Indian relations throughout most of his career. 

#4) January 2017: the Russian Consul in Greece 

Employees of the Russian consulate in Athens found the 55-year-old consul Andrei Malanin dead on January 9, 2017. Colleagues came to his home, after the diplomat did not come to work and stopped answering phone calls. To get into the apartment, they had to turn to the police, who broke the door.

After reports of the death of the head of the consulate, the Greek police initiated an investigation, but soon reported that the diplomat had died because of health problems. 

#5) December 2016: murder of the ambassador in Turkey

Perhaps the loudest and most unexpected loss in the world of Russian diplomacy occurred on December 19, 2016. Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was shot right during his speech at the opening of the photo exhibition in Ankara. The attacker made several shots, after which he was shot by policemen.

A severely wounded ambassador was sent to the hospital, but soon information appeared that Andrei Karlov had died. This information was confirmed in the Russian diplomatic department. 

After that, Russia suspended the negotiations that began shortly before the tragedy on the resumption of the visa-free regime with Turkey. The authorities of the country said that they relate to the decision with understanding. At the same time, both in Russia and in Turkey noted that the blame for what happened is primarily international terrorism. 

#6) May 2016: the charge d’affaires of the Russian Federation in Ukraine Andrei Vorobiev

In May 2016, the temporary charge d’affaires of the Russian Federation in Ukraine Andrei Vorobiev died. The diplomat was 56 years old.  The cause of death was a stroke. 

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