Vitaly Churkin has died in New York
Vitaly Churkin has served as Russia’s permanent representative to the UN since 2006.
The 64-year-old was at the Russian embassy in Manhattan when he became sick with a “cardiac condition” around 9.00am this morning.
He was unconscious and needed CPR when he was rushed to New York Presbyterian Hospital.
But the diplomat has died in hospital, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.
Vitaly Churkin once starred in a film about Vladimir Lenin
The ministry gave no details on the circumstances of his death but offered condolences to his relatives and said the diplomat had died one day before his 65th birthday.
Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Yevgeniy Zagaynov said about Churkin that he kept working "till the very end."
A spokesman for the United Nations said the organisation is "shocked" by the sudden death of the envoy and has extended its condolences to Moscow.
Vitaly Churkin died after a "cardiac condition"
Mr Churkin, who once starred in a film about Vladimir Lenin when he was just 11-years-old, rose through the ranks after graduating from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1974.
Formerly the Ambassador at Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation from 2003 to 2006, Churkin has had a number of prominent roles including Ambassador to Canada, Deputy Foreign Minister and spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.
He also held a PhD in history and testified before the United States Congress on the Chernobyl nuclear power station accident – the first time in history a Soviet official testified before a Congressional committee of the House of Representatives.
Churkin replaced Andrey Denisov as the Permanent Representative to the United Nations on 1 May 2006.
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