- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) - The Latest on the sudden death of the Russian ambassador to the United Nations (all times local):

10:55 a.m.

The New York City medical examiner is performing an autopsy on Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations after his sudden death.

Vitaly Churkin fell ill Monday in his office and was rushed to a New York City hospital, where he died. The hospital referred the case to the medical examiner’s office, which was slated to perform the autopsy Tuesday.

The agency is tasked with investigating deaths of people in New York City that occur by accident, suddenly or when in apparent good health, or suspiciously.

Most of the cases taken on by the medical examiner’s office end up being death by natural causes.

Churkin died a day before his 65th birthday and was remembered as a tenacious diplomat who passionately argued for his nation’s best interests.


12:15 a.m.

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations who died suddenly after falling ill at his office at Russia’s U.N. mission is being remembered by his diplomatic colleagues as a powerful and passionate voice for his nation.

Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Vladimir Safronkov, says Vitaly Churkin was taken to a hospital, where he died Monday. Churkin would have turned 65 Tuesday. The cause of his death was not immediately known.

Churkin had been Russia’s envoy at the United Nations since 2006. He was the longest-serving ambassador on the Security Council, the U.N.’s most powerful body.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called him “a uniquely skilled diplomat, a powerful orator with great wit, and a man of many talents and interests.”

Colleagues from around the world mourned Churkin as a master in their field.

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