Russian ambassador to Sudan found dead in his swimming pool

Mirgayas Shirinsky is the sixth senior diplomat from his country to have died suddenly overseas since November 

Chloe Farand
Thursday 24 August 2017 09:30
Mirgayas Shirinsky started his diplomatic career in 1977 and had been an ambassador to Sudan since 2013
Mirgayas Shirinsky started his diplomatic career in 1977 and had been an ambassador to Sudan since 2013

Russia's ambassador to Sudan was found dead in the swimming pool of his Khartoum residence, officials have said.

He is the sixth senior Russian diplomat to have died suddenly overseas since last year's US election.

The Sudanese foreign minister released a statement confirming Mirgayas Shirinsky, who was in his early sixties, died at his Karthoum home but he did not give a cause of death.

The AFP quoted a police spokesman saying he was found in the swimming pool.

His death comes after a string of Russian diplomats have died suddenly overseas since November.

On the morning of the US election day, Russian diplomat Sergei Krivov, 63, was found lying unconscious on the floor of the Russian Consulate in New York with a head injury. Russian officials later said he had died from a heart attack.

In December, Andrey Karlov, 62, the Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot in the back as he was making a speech at a photo exhibition in the capital city of Ankara.

A man wearing a suit and tie fired eights shots and shouted "Allahu akbar" and "We die in Aleppo, you die here".

In January, the Russian Consul in Athens, Greece, Andrei Malanin, 55, was found dead on the bathroom floor in his apartment. Police said Mr Malanin had appeared to have died from natural causes.

A couple of weeks later, Alexander Kadakin, died after a brief illness at the age of 68, sources told the Hindustan Times. It was later reported he had died from heart failure but few details are known.

In February, Russia's ambassador to the UN for more than a decade, Vitaly Churkin, collapsed in his office and died. Postmortem tests suggested Mr Churkin died from a heart attack but at the time officials said further examinations were required.

The foreign ministry in Moscow told Russia's RIA Novosti state news agency: "We grieve to announce that on 23 August in Khartoum the Russian ambassador to Sudan, Mr Shirinsky died."

Russia's foreign ministry also reposted a tweet from the Russian embassy in Panama expressing its condolences after the death of Mr Shirinsky, who it described as having "devoted his life to the service of the homeland".

Russia's embassy spokesman told the AFP there were signs Mr Shirinsky had suffered a heart attack.

According to the embassy's website, Mr Shirinsky was born in 1954 and he spoke Arabic and English.

He started his career as an ambassador in Egypt in 1977 and had previously been posted in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Rwanda. He took on his post as an ambassador to Sudan in 2013.

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