15:52 GMT +326 March 2017
    Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin leaves the General assembly hall after a vote supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine at United Nations headquarters, Thursday, March 27, 2014

    Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin Dies

    © AP Photo/ Seth Wenig
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    Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin died at the age of 64, just a day before his 65th birthday, in New York on Monday.

    "A prominent Russian diplomat has passed away while at work. We'd like to express our sincere condolences to Vitaly Churkin's family," Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement available on its official website. 

    Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative Petr Iliichev said about Churkin that he kept working "till the very end."

    "The loss that Russia has suffered is irreplaceable. Ambassador Churkin kept working till the very last moment. He dedicated all his life to protecting Russia's interests abroad. He was [always] at the front line, taking the most challenging appointments," Iliichev said.

    The representative of the UN Secretary-General Farhan Haq said that the UN was shocked by the news, extending their condolences to Moscow:  "We mourn ambassador Churkin, he's been such a regular presence here that I'm actually quite stunned and our thoughts go to his family and his government."

    Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, took to Facebook to express her grief: "A great diplomat. An extraordinary personality. A brilliant man. We've lost a person very dear to us."

    Putin expressed his condolences to the family of late diplomat, as well as to his colleagues in the Foreign Ministry.

    "It is with deep sorrow that Russian President Vladimir Putin learned about the death of Vitaly Churkin," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday. He added that Putin held Churkin's professionalism and diplomatic talent in high regard.

    Following the news of the ambassador's death, the UN began its scheduled meeting with a moment of silence to honor Churkin's memory.

    The late ambassador's colleagues took to Twitter to express their condolences as well.

    No further details concerning the circumstances of Churkin's death are available at the moment.

    Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin was born in Moscow in 1952. He graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1974, beginning his decades-long career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shortly.

    Ambassador Churkin served as Russia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations since 2006. Prior to this appointment, he was Ambassador at Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (2003-2006), Ambassador to Canada (1998-2003), Ambassador to Belgium and Liaison Ambassador to NATO and WEU (1994-1998), Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation to the talks on Former Yugoslavia (1992-1994), Director of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR/Russian Federation (1990-1992).

    Vitaly Churkin was awarded the Order For Merit to the Fatherland of IV degree in 2012.

    He is survived by his wife and two children.

    UN, Russian Foreign Ministry, Petr Iliichev, Maria Zakharova, Vladimir Putin, Farhan Haq, Dmitry Peskov, Vitaly Churkin, Russia, New York
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    • Gentle Eagle
      Highly suspect... a possible new weapon of sabotage by special ops!! The evildoers have no limits.
      Heartfelt condolences to all affected!!!
      God gives and God takes.
    • avatar

      Ambassador & Dr. Churkin, may you “Rest In Peace__(RIP).”
      My thoughts & condolences go to your Family & the Russian People.

      No one will deny or forget “Your Brilliant Fast Mind, Knowledge of Foreign Affairs & Diplomatic Professionalism.”

      Hopefully, your Family & the Russian People
      will be comforted, that you saw the “Fruit of Your Hard Labor,
      at The UN”.

      The last one being among other things, the “End of The Syrian War,” “Thanks to “The Peaceful USA President Trump, who is willing to work with another Peaceful Russian President Putin.”
    • avatar
      Deepest condolences. Never forget his great work for peace among UN members.
    • avatar
      Mishka Kyiv
      Who will lie for Putin at the UN now? It is a thankless task, when all know that every word is a lie. When gasps and laughter ring round the hall full of diplomats and press, just as with Lavrov's performances. He was a worthy servant of his master, that is certain
    • NATOisEVIL
      This News made me a bit shocked and very sorry, he was not "old" and seemed so full of life. Vitaly Churkin was a highly needed voice of sanity in the middle of the western lunatics.
    • Drain the swamp
      RIP, it must be from having to read the fake news of NYT everyday and listen to the even faker Samantha Power at the UN all these years.
    • jean.henri.peulinckx
      Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Rest in Peace!
      You are a great loss for the diplomatic world and humanity.

      Thank you for your many efforts for a better world.
      Because of you, many people opened their eyes and have taken a different view of the world.
      Спасибо товарищ!
      Jean-Henri Peulinckx.
      The sincere condolences to the relatives and friends and family. +
    • NATOisEVIL
      Mishka Kyiv, You can try as hard as you want, but not one take you serious in here. Evil liar.
    • avatar
      Condolences to family and friends, a true loss to the people of Russia in many ways.
    • avatar
      Mishka Kyivin reply toNATOisEVIL(Show commentHide comment)
      NATOisEVIL, How dare you! I was almost as upset as I was when Motorola was blown to very small pieces. Russia cannot afford to lose its great intellectuals.
    • RedBanner
      A great loss!

      One of the best on international Diplomacy!

      RIP Mr Churkin! You will be missed!
    • avatar
      double bonus
      My Condolences to Churkin's family. He was so young at only 64 years old?
      According to the US SSA Actuarial tables, only 18-19% of those born 64-65
      years ago are dead by now.

      Age = 64, Male Number of Lives (out of 100,000) = 81,899. (100 - 82 = 18%)
      Age = 65, Male Number of Lives (out of 100,000) = 80.691. (100 - 81 = 19%)

      So, perhaps it is a toss-up, about whether this was Natural Causes or not;
      but less than 20% of the male US population die by age 64-65, according
      to the Social Security Administration Actuarial Life Tables:
      64 0.014749 81,899
      65 0.015852 80,691
    • avatar
      Michel van Dijk
      He was totally Ace. Thanks for everything mister Churkin.
    • avatar
      Erik Trete
      The world has lost one of the few real statesman and diplomats working for truth, fairness and justice at the UN.
    • Gentle Eaglein reply toMishka Kyiv(Show commentHide comment)
      Mishka Kyiv, you're dumb and not funny. Do you understand?
    • avatar
      He has stopped so many wars and exposed the warmongers. Hopefully someone would be there to replace him.
    • Tony Rossiniin reply toMishka Kyiv(Show commentHide comment)
      Mishka Kyiv,
      Ukrainians continue to remain as inhumane scum....even in death!
    • avatar
      What a terrible loss for his family and friends, Russia and the world.

      Deepest sympathy to Anastasia Churkina, whom we all feel we know due to TV. Actually I did meet her once, a very gracious person like her father was.
    • avatar
      maxxusin reply todouble bonus(Show commentHide comment)
      double bonus, if it was natural it would be by heart attack, if it was murder it would also be by heart attack. And no difference might show up in autopsy, it is that advanced.
    • avatar
      Ibrahim Ahmad
      It’s really painful that seeing a great diplomatic & honest fighter for justice like Vitaly Churkin has passed away at the age of 64, and even a day before his 65th birthday..

      I pay true condolences to Vitaly Churkin’s family and his lovers everywhere..

      Even though, it still wondering the way that this diplomatic has passed away and at this age especially if we noticed the healthy position that this great diplomatic has appeared on a couple days before his death..

      Of course, some may has passed away and some may will pass on after, the truth is: No one can hide sunlight with his/her finger anyway..
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