In a gesture of support, Russian police have handed over a puppy to the French ambassador in Moscow. The puppy will replace the French police dog killed in a raid in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.
Igor Zubov, a Russian deputy interior minister, presented the puppy to French ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert at a ceremony in Moscow on Monday evening.
"We all mourn the victims of the attacks," Zubov said, referring to 130 victims, killed in the series of terror attacks in the French capital on November 13. "Islamic State" (IS) militants claimed responsibility.
"In Russia, dogs who serve police are loved not only by the police but also by ordinary citizens," he said, adding that the gift was seen as "a symbol of the unity of our peoples in the implacable fight against terrorism."
Ripert echoed Zubov's sentiment and described the gift as "a gesture that comes from the heart," adding that "it shows the relations between Russia and France quite well."
Diesel, a 7-year-old Belgian shepherd was killed on November 18 in a French police raid, targeting the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks. She was honored around the world for her services to the French police force.
Social media users paid their own tribute to Diesel by creating the hastag "JeSuisChien," meaning "I am dog."
The hashtag was inspired by #JeSuisCharlie which went viral around the world following the terrorist attack against French satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo" in January.
'Strength, valor and justice'
Diesel's replacement, Dobrynya, is named after a Russian fairy-tale knight. Zubov said the character was the incarnation of "strength, valor and justice."
Before leaving Russia for his new home on French soil, Dobrynya must remain in quarantine for up to three months.
ksb/jr (AFP, AP)