Vitaly Churkin, the tough-talking Russian ambassador to the United Nations, died suddenly Monday after falling ill at his country’s consulate in New York City.
Churkin, 64, was working at his desk when he collapsed, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed. The ministry gave no other details. “A prominent Russian diplomat has passed away while at work,” the ministry said in a statement on its official website. “We’d like to express our sincere condolences to Vitaly Churkin’s family.” The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed it was investigating the death. “Once we have had an opportunity to examine the decedent, we will share the cause and manner of death when it is available,” spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said in a statement.