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Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin dies: foreign ministry

PanARMENIAN.Net – Russia's combative ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died suddenly in New York on Monday, February 21 after being taken ill at work, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, according to Reuters. 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. It declined to comment on reports that Churkin had been taken to a hospital shortly before his death. A U.S. government official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the case, said that Churkin had died of an apparent heart attack. A federal law enforcement official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said that there appeared to be nothing unusual about the ambassador's death. The New York Post quoted unnamed sources as saying Churkin had been rushed to a Manhattan hospital from the Russian embassy after falling ill with a cardiac condition. President Vladimir Putin was deeply upset by the news and had greatly valued Churkin's professionalism and diplomatic talent, Russian news agencies quoted the Kremlin as saying. Tass news…

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