Slain Russian ambassador Karlov laid to rest in Moscow, named hero posthumously

Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov, who was shot dead in Ankara, has been buried in Moscow with honors. Russian President Vladimir Putin was among those who bid a final farewell to the slain diplomat, who was named a hero of Russia posthumously.

The funeral for the assassinated ambassador began at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the ceremony to pay his last respects.

Putin “expressed heartfelt condolences to Andrey Karlov’s family, his mother Maria, widow Marina, son Gennady ,and sister Elena,” a statement from the Kremlin said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov presented the ‘Hero of the Russian Federation’ star, the country’s highest honorary title, to the diplomat’s family.

Karlov “became a victim of the vile, heinous terrorist act,” Lavrov said at the ceremony, adding that many of his colleagues and President Putin himself have praised Karlov for his diplomatic skills and “his contribution to the solution of many key problems of our foreign policy.” Kirill of Moscow and All Russia holds a funeral service for Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov at the Christ the Savior Cathedral. © Grigoriy Sisoev / Sputnik

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım also joined the farewell ceremony at Russia’s Foreign Ministry.

Putin signed an Executive Order on Wednesday posthumously awarding Karlov with the title of ‘Hero of the Russian Federation’ “for the fortitude and courage he displayed as an ambassador,” according to the Kremlin.

The burial service was later performed by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.

“Andrey Karlov’s life ended tragically. He will be remembered in our history as the Russian ambassador killed in the line of duty. There are a few diplomats like him… His death made him immortal…,” the Patriarch said, adding that he had known Karlov personally.

Karlov was later buried at Khimkinskoye cemetery in Moscow.

A farewell ceremony also took place at an Orthodox church in Pyongyang, North Korea, where Karlov had worked as ambassador before Turkey. Karlov helped initiate the building of two Orthodox churches in North Korea, and he married his wife Marina in one of them back in 2006.

Head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill and Marina Karlova, widow of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. © Sergei Pyatakov

The diplomat was appointed as a fully-authorized ambassador to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 2001, a post he held until 2006.

Karlov was shot dead as he was speaking at the opening of an exhibition called ‘Russia in the Eyes of Turks’ at an art gallery in Ankara. The gunman has been identified as 22-year-old Mevlut Altintas, a member of Ankara’s riot police force.

On July 12, 2013, Karlov was appointed to the position of ambassador to Turkey by a presidential decree and assumed his new post at the Russian embassy in Ankara. As ambassador to Turkey, Karlov oversaw a difficult period in Russian-Turkish relations, which were severely strained when Turkey downed a Russian jet over Syria in 2015.

  • Published in World

Restoration of Havana's Capitol building receives international award

The restoration of the National Capitol, in charge of the Office of the City Historian (OHC by its Spanish acronym), with the collaboration of the company MD Projektmanagement GmbH, was awarded the 2016 Bernhard Remmers Prize, granted by the German Academy of the same name.

According to Granma newspaper, the jury bestowed the award taking into account the challenge of restoring the work, the good application of the reparation concepts and the exemplary cooperation of the curators.

The ceremony took place in the German city of Leipzig, and was attended by a representation of the OHC headed by Perla Rosales, its deputy director in Havana.

According to digital site, Michael Diegmann, president of MD Projektmanagement, which has been working for nine years on preservation projects in Cuba, said that it is an honor to work with the OHC in restoring its heritage.

In the case of the Capitol, we are focused on its characteristics, resistance, and coloration. We have a special solution for this property, he added.

If people are happy with the results, so am I. In my team we have a phrase: working together, everything is possible and that thought is also applied here in Old Havana, he stated.

The award also distinguishes the work of specialists, restorers and all those who contribute to the improvement and conservation of those important sites because of their historical value.

The Capitol is one of the most important architectural gems in Cuba, declared a National Monument since November 15, 2010.

  • Published in Culture

Michelle Obama Awards Lizt Alfonso in White House

The US President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, PCAH, granted the Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba School –LADCS- the International Spotlight Award.

As part of the 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards (NAHYP), the special prize was presented at the White House by First Lady, Michelle Obama, to Lizt Alfonso, founder, director and choreographer of LADCS.

The event can be watched on the following link


  • Published in Culture

Cuban Film Conducta Wins Award in Insularia Festival

The Cuban film ''Conducta'' won today another international award: the highest prize in the feature films of the Insularia Festival-Islas en Red, said today the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC).
'Conducta', directed by Ernesto Daranas, has been praised by the audience and critics in the film festival that concluded yesterday in Tenerife, Canary Islands, according to a press release.

This festival, held for the first time and with a comprehensive approach on audiovisual productions made by islanders in the world, was dedicated to Cuba as guest country, said the press release.

The program included a tribute to late Cuban filmmaker Julio Garcia Espinosa, along with the screening of documentaries and fiction films made by ICAIC in its first 30 years.

An exhibition of Cuban posters took place, as well as a tribute to the International School of Film and Television of San Antonio de los Baños for its 30th anniversary and a meeting between the film libraries of the Canaries and Cuba.

  • Published in Culture

Cuban Firm Awarded Prize by ITU in Geneva

The firm of Informatics Solutions Softel was awarded today the prize of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in the category of electronic health for the project of informatization of the Cuban health system.

The award was given in the context of the World Forum on the Information Society (WFIS), running in this Swiss city through May 6, according to a communique ossued by Cuba's Permanent Mission in Geneva.

Director General of Softel, Ariadna Curbelo, who was given the prize, explained that the project includes three solutions to respond to the informatization needs of the Cuban health system.

Besides, she said that the project is integrated to the strategy of informatization of the Cuban society, it has been implemented for over 15 years and involved over 100 institutions under the guide of the Direction of Informatics and Communications of the Health Ministry of Cuba.

Softel is a firm that belongs to the Business Group of Informatics and Communications. It has 30 years of experience and offers services of consultancy, specialized informatic services and design and implementation of informatics solutions for the said sector, among other tasks.

The award granting ceremony of the Forum WFIS was presided over by Secretary General of ITU, Houlin Zhao.

The awards were granted in 18 categories to successful projects in the implementation of commitments assumed by the states in the World Summit on the Information Society, as well as those that better respond to the UN sustainable development targets.

  • Published in Cuba
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