Russia's ambassador to United Nations dies in NYC at 64

The Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, has died suddenly in NY, it has been announced. Russian officials said their ambassador to United Nations, Churkin, has died in New York City on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017.

He was due to celebrate his 65th birthday on Tuesday and police sources have already said that no foul play is suspected. Earlier in the day he was reportedly rushed to a NY hospital after suffering heart problems. The ministry gave no details on the circumstances of his death but offered condolences to his relatives.

Before he became the Russian ambassador to the United Nations in May 2006, Churkin served as ambassador to Belgium, ambassador to Canada, and liaison ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Western European Union.

The British ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, said that the world had lost a "diplomatic giant".

Churkin was previously ambassador at large and earlier served as the foreign ministry spokesman.

  • Leroy Wright