The Latest: Russian UN diplomat's death needs further study

AP News
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Posted: Feb 21, 2017 1:04 PM
The Latest: Russian UN diplomat's death needs further study

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the death of Russia's ambassador to the United Nations (all times local):

1 p.m.

New York City's medical examiner has performed an autopsy on Russia's ambassador to the United Nations but says the cause and manner of his death need further study.

Spokeswoman Julie Bolcer says the case was referred to the office by a hospital. Vitaly Churkin fell ill in his office and died Monday, a day before his 65th birthday.

The medical examiner's office said Tuesday the death required further study, which normally includes toxicology and other screenings that can take weeks.

The medical examiner is responsible for investigating deaths that occur by criminal violence, accident, suicide, suddenly or when the person seemed healthy, or if someone died in any unusual or suspicious manner. Most of the deaths investigated by the office are not suspicious.

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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.

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10:15 a.m.

The United Nations Security Council has held a moment of silence for Russia's ambassador, who died suddenly after falling ill at his office at Russia's U.N. mission.

Numerous ambassadors are paying tribute to Vitaly Churkin as the Security Council begins its meeting Tuesday. It would have been his 65th birthday.

The cause of his death isn't 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.

Colleagues are recalling Churkin as a powerful advocate for his country but also a master diplomat who could find opportunities for compromise and forge personal friendships while disagreeing on policy.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley says he was brilliant, gracious and funny.

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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.