Russia's Ambassador to UN Dies in NYC
Vitaly Churkin was 64; cause of death unknown
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 20, 2017 11:55 AM CST
In this Feb. 2, 2017, file photo, Russia's Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, addresses a Security Council meeting. Russian officials said Churkin died in New York City on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017.   (Richard Drew)

(Newser) – Russian officials say its ambassador to the United Nations has died suddenly in New York City. Vitaly Churkin was 64. Russia's deputy UN ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov, told the AP that Churkin became ill in his office at Russia's UN mission and was taken to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, where he died Monday. His cause of death wasn't immediately known. Churkin has been Russia's envoy at the United Nations for a little over a decade and was considered Moscow's great champion at the UN. He had a reputation for an acute wit and sharp repartee especially with his American and Western counterparts. He was previously ambassador at large and earlier served as the foreign ministry spokesman.

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