Russian Ambassador to the U.N. dies suddenly

(Image: Sputnik International)

Vitaly Churkin, the Russian Ambassador to the U.N., has died suddenly one day before his birthday, the Russian Foreign Ministry reports.

The longest-serving member of the Security-Council, Churkin’s cause of death was not immediately disclosed, leading to speculation that he had a severe heart attack.

The New York Times reported shortly after news broke that Churkin had been rushed to a New York hospital before passing away.

Tributes poured in from fellow diplomats, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who worked with Churkin for many years.

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