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Russian United Nations Ambassador Vitaly Churkin addresses reporters before an expected vote by the U.N. Security Council at the United Nations headquarters on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016. The U.N. Security Council was expected to vote on a resolution demanding immediate and unconditional access for the United Nations and its partners to besieged parts of Aleppo and throughout Syria to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

The Russian ambassador to the UN died unexpectedly today in New York


Vitaly Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, died suddenly Monday morning in New York City.

Churkin, a day shy of turning 65, was the nation's UN ambassador since 2006. 

The New York Daily News reports Churkin died of a heart attack Monday morning. No foul play is suspected. 

Churkin's death was announced at the United Nations.

Fellow diplomats paid tribute on Twitter.

Churkin most recently sparred with American diplomat Samantha Power, who tried to shame him for the massacre of civilians in Aleppo, Syria. In that exchange, he compared her to "Mother Teresa." 

Despite their disputes, Power tweeted calling him a "diplomatic maestro" and a "deeply caring man" who did all he could to bridge differences between the countries. 


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