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    Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin speaks during a news conference to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, at United Nations headquarters

    Putin Awards Russian Ambassador to UN Churkin Order of Courage Posthumously

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin posthumously awarded Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin the Order of Courage, the Kremlin said in a statement on its website.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Churkin died in New York on February 20. The diplomat would have turned 65 on Tuesday, February 21.

    "For selflessness, perseverance and high professionalism shown at the post of Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations in New York… award the Order of Courage to Churkin Vitaly Ivanovich (posthumously)," the decree says.

    Vitaly 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.


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