Vitaly Churkin "died suddenly" in New York earlier today
The Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin has died aged 64.
The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that Churkin "died suddenly" today in New York.
Churkin had served as Russia's permanent representative to the United Nations since 2006.
The news was announced during a session at the UN headquarters, with those in attendance deeply shocked by the news.
A UN official said during the meeting that "He was a dear colleague of all of us, a deeply committed diplomat of his country and one of the finest people we have known."
Shocking news to hear the passing away of Amb Vitaly Churkin. A brilliant ambassador who served his country & people. May he rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/pFodXqs5Qm— @kamaNY (@kamapradipta) February 20, 2017
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