"He had a wonderful sense of humor. Both personally and professionally, it was the man who projected his charisma both within the staff and outside it," Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gennady Kuzmin told Sputnik, adding that Churkin always held meetings, including those at the UN Security Council, "on the highest professional level."
"Vitaly Ivanovich [Churkin] reacted instantly: 'One cannot step into the same river twice, but can certainly step into the same swamp'," the diplomat said.
Kuzmin, who worked alongside Churkin for more than four years, pointed out that the late Russian envoy had a great memory, the capacity "to remember the remarkable volume of information" related to the work at the United Nations.
Churkin was born in Moscow on February 21, 1952. He served as Russia's permanent envoy to the United Nations and Russian representative in the UN Security Council from April 2006 until his death. Churkin died in New York on February 20, 2017, a day before his 65th birthday.
The diplomat was buried on February 24, 2017, at a Moscow cemetery.