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Vitaly Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, died on Monday a day before his 65th birthday, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed in a statement.
Churkin has served as the permanent representative to the UN since 2006. The ministry called him an “outstanding” diplomat, and offered condolences to his friends and family.
The New York Police Department confirmed to BuzzFeed News that officers responded to the Russian Embassy at 9:30 a.m. to assist a man in cardiac arrest, and transported him to New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Churkin served as Russian ambassador to Canada, from 1998-2003, and to Belgium from 1994-1998. During the latter position, he was also the liaison ambassador to NATO and the Western European Union.
In his time at the United Nations, Churkin gained a reputation for the sharpness of his words and the linguistic flexibility he possessed both in English and Russian.
Born and raised in Moscow, Churkin'..