Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations dies suddenly
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died suddenly, according to an announcement at the UN and Russia media reports.
Mr Churkin, who died a day before his 65th birthday, had served as Russia’s ambassador to the UN since 2006.
He was a colourful character and a skilled diplomat, often delivering passionate speeches at the Security Council that were critical of US foreign policy.
Diplomats said Mr Churkin died of cardiac arrest. The news was announced at a General Assembly meeting, where Russian representatives expressed their shock and grief. A three-minute moment of silence was held in Mr. Churkin’s honour.
The announcement of his death shocked the diplomatic community and UN officials. A career diplomat, Mr Churkin previously had served as ambassador to Canada, Belgium and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley offered condolences and prayers to his family and the Russian people. She said Mr Churkin had been a “gracious colleague” in her short time at the UN.
“We did not always see things the same way, but he unquestionably advocated his country’s positions with great skill,” Ms Haley said.
Matthew Rycroft, the UK ambassador to the UN, tweeted that he was “absolutely devastated” and that Mr Churkin was “a diplomatic giant & wonderful character.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences in a statement posted on the Kremlin website. Mr Putin “highly valued Churkin’s professionalism and diplomatic talent,” a Kremlin spokesman told Interfax news agency.
The Russian Foreign Ministry praised him as “an outstanding diplomat.”
Mr Churkin, who spoke elegant English with a slight accent, told Russian state channel RT in an interview broadcast on February 8 that the work of diplomats had become more hectic in recent years. “It is stressful, and unfortunately the world has not become more stable than it used to be,” he said. The RT reporter who interviewed Mr Churkin, Alexey Yaroshevsky, wrote on Twitter that he “looked in good health and was very energetic during the interview.”
Diplomats said they expect Tuesday’s Security Council meeting will be dedicated to Mr Churkin and that diplomats will have an opportunity to commemorate him. Mr Churkin suffered the heart attack on Monday morning at the Russian mission to the UN on E. 67 St, a New York City Fire Department spokesman said. The department received a report for “a cardiac condition” at the location at 9:30am. Mr. Churkin was moved by ambulance to New York-Presbyterian Hospital. A New York Police Department official said there was no evidence of criminality in the incident.
seems normal..but it is the third russian ambassador to die this year..this guy was involved in some of the most important world events for the last 5 years..posted for posterity..
“Diplomats said Mr Churkin died of cardiac arrest. The news was announced at a General Assembly meeting, where Russian representatives expressed their shock and grief. A three-minute moment of silence was held in Mr. Churkin’s honour.”