Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday called the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey a “provocation” aimed at derailing the peace process in Syria. At a special meeting in the Kremlin after Ambassador Andrei Karlov was gunned down, Putin vowed to retaliate against the “bandits” who stood behind Karlov’s death. “A crime has been committed and it was without doubt a provocation aimed at spoiling the normalization of Russo-Turkish relations and spoiling the Syrian peace process which is being actively pushed by Russia, Turkey, Iran, and others,” he said in televised comments. “There can only be one response—stepping up the fight against terrorism. The bandits will feel this happening,” he said. Russian investigators are due to fly to Ankara to assist in probing Karlov’s murder, he said, telling the country’s security services, “We must know who directed the killer’s hand.” He also ordered that security be increased at all Russian embassies around the world.
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