Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations died of heart attack in Manhattan.
Vitaly Churkin, 64, had represented Russia at the UN since 2006. He was known as a champion of Moscow who did not hesitate to highlight what he called hypocrisy inherent in US foreign policy.
Police arrived at Russia’s UN Mission on E. 67th St. at 9:30 a.m. and found the diplomat in cardiac arrest, sources said. He was declared dead at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell. No foul play is suspected, police sources said.
Samantha Power, former U.S. ambassador to the UN, tweeted that Churkin was a “diplomatic maestro and deeply caring man” who did all he could to bridge differences between the U.S. and Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Churkin’s professionalism and diplomacy.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Churkin died “unexpectedly” and noted that Tuesday would have been his birthday.
“Great diplomat. Uncommon personality. Brilliant person. We lost one of our own,” she wrote on Facebook.