Russia's Ambassador To UN Dies Suddenly In New York
Russia's ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin has been confirmed dead in NY at age 64.
He also had a tribute posted by Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova who commented on Facebook: "Great diplomat". However, New York Post quoted sources as saying that the ambassador had died after suffering heart problems.
"It is with deep sorrow that Russian President Vladimir Putin learned about the death of Vitaly Churkin", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday. He was taken to New York's Presbyterian Hospital, where he died.
His tenure in NY coincided with Russian President Vladimir Putin's increasingly assertive foreign policy as Moscow sought to shore up - including with the use of military force - its influence in the former Soviet Union and beyond.
"The world is appalled, Mr. Churkin, and they want to know why didn't warn them", Rep. Edward Markey, D- Mass., said.
According to reports, the announcement of his death during a session at the United Nations headquarters was met with shock.
"The loss sustained by Russian Federation is grave and irreplaceable".
Ambassador Churkin is survived by his wife and two grown-up children, according to The Independent. He dedicated all his life to protecting Russia's interests overseas. Churkin worked in the foreign service since 1974.
Before he was appointed to represent Russian Federation at the United Nations in May 2006, the diplomat served as ambassador to Belgium, ambassador to Canada, and liaison ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Western European Union (WEU).
"The weirdest speech to me was the one by the U.S. representative who built her statement as if she is Mother Theresa herself". Churkin retorted that she sounded like "Mother Theresa" for scolding Moscow and urged her to "remember the track record of your country". "Please, remember the track record of your country", Churkin said at the assembly.
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A crime scene has been established at the scene of the death and homicide squad detectives are investigating. It is understood the victim, along with the woman who is being questioned by police, are Irish nationals.
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