Diplomat Vitaly Churkin: biography, personal life, career, cause of death

Representing the interests of your state in the international arena is a very responsible mission, the fulfillment of which will not be entrusted to every person. One such, without exaggeration, to say, the leaders of Russian foreign policy during his lifetime was diplomat Vitaly Churkin. We will talk about his difficult life, professional success and personal life in the article.

Vitaly Churkin

Birth and childhood

Vitaly Churkin, whose biography is shown below, was born on February 21, 1952 in the city of Moscow. He was the only child of his parents. His father's name was Ivan Vasilyevich, and he worked as an aeronautical engineer. The mother of the hero of the article, Maria Petrovna, devoted her whole life to housekeeping.

School years Vitaly Ivanovich spent in the 56th specialized Moscow school, in which a number of subjects was taught in English.From an early age, the future diplomat was privately engaged with Lilia Ryskina, an immigrant from the United States, who was the bearer of this foreign language.

Active life position

Churkin's school performance was excellent. He also served as secretary of the Komsomol of his school. He was a contender for the gold medal, but in the end he did not become its owner due to bias on the part of the director. The school leader believed that Churkin was a real careerist.

At the age of 11, Churkin Vitaly Ivanovich tried his hand as an actor, starring in the film “Blue Notebook”. However, he subsequently refused to continue his acting career, concentrating fully on his studies.

Vitaly Churkin diplomat

Life in high school

In 1969, Vitaly Churkin, whose biography even after his death is interesting to people, became a student at MGIMO. And the young man managed to get to the faculty of international relations at the first attempt. Together with him, on the same course, Andrey Kozyrev and Andrey Denisov studied. Again, Churkin was able to show his perseverance, which ultimately led him to receive a red diploma.After graduating from high school, he became a graduate student, and a little later, after defending his dissertation, Ph.D.

Carier start

In 1974, Churkin Vitaly Ivanovich became a diplomat. In the period 1974-1979. he worked as an assistant in the translation department of the USSR Foreign Ministry. On June 18, 1979, he was entrusted with being a translator at the signing of the SALT-2 contract between Brezhnev and Carter. In the same period, Churkin met with future US Vice President Joe Biden during his visit to Moscow.

In 1979-1982 Vitaly Churkin, whose biography is worthy of every respect, went from the third to the first secretary of the US department at the USSR Foreign Ministry. At the same time was sent to 7 years in the United States.

1982-1987 - the second, and then the chief secretary of the Soviet Embassy in the United States of America.

In 1989-1990 Vitaly Ivanovich served as press secretary to the head of the USSR Foreign Ministry Eduard Shevardnadze. In late 1990, Churkin received the rank of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.

In the spring of 1986, Churkin had a chance to speak before the US Congressmen about the tragic accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and thus the diplomat became the first Soviet official to attend a meeting of this state legislature.

Vitaly Churkin at the UN

Continuing diplomatic career

In 1991-1992the Russian was headed by the Information Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

As ambassador to Chile, he spent a few months: from March 27 to July 7, 1992.

From June 1992 to November 1994, Vitaly Churkin, whose personal life did not often come under the guns of journalists, was Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Andrei Kozyrev. During the Bosnian armed conflict, Vitaly Ivanovich was the special representative of the Russian president in the Balkans, where he oversaw the resolution of this power confrontation.

In 1992, Churkin accompanied Yeltsin on a trip to Canada and the United States through the UK.

The diplomat also mediated between the Supreme Soviet and Chernomyrdin during the events of October 3-4, 1993 in Moscow.

From October 1994 to June 1998, he worked as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Belgium, and in parallel was the representative of Russia to NATO. August 1998 - June 2003 - Ambassador to Canada.

Churkin - Russian Ambassador to the UN

New appointment

On April 8, 2006, Putin signed a decree in which Churkin was appointed to the post of Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN and the UN Security Council. Ultimately, Vitaly Ivanovich was a member of the Russian delegation to this international body during 11 sessions of the General Assembly.

Features of work in the UN

What did Vitaly Churkin distinguish himself in the United Nations? His biography says that his repeated speeches often met an extremely negative reaction from most Western partners. Nevertheless, the Russian diplomat managed to establish favorable personal relations with his foreign colleagues and preserve them throughout his life, trying to smooth out the "sharp corners" in work issues as much as possible, but without allowing him to speak with the language of ultimatums.

It is worth noting that while working at the UN, Churkin had the same degree of freedom as the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

Vitaly Ivanovich also insistently demanded a reduction in the number of diplomats attending closed meetings of the UN Security Council and strictly forbid them to take cell phones with them in order to eliminate the possibility of leakage of official information through social networks and ubiquitous journalists.

It is noteworthy that Churkin liked to compare the work of diplomats with the work of metallurgists, for whom night vigils and the twelve-hour working day were the norm, and not the exception to the rule.

Churkin at a meeting of the UN Security Council

Resonance episodes

On January 12, 2007, Vitaly Ivanovich exercised the right of veto by imposing it on a resolution calling on the leadership of Myanmar to stop the regular violation of human rights. The Russian said that everything that happens in this country is an internal affair of the state and no one has the right to interfere or impose his opinion there.

In June 2009, Churkin again vetoed a UN resolution on the extension of the mandate of peacekeepers in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhaz armed conflict. The diplomat explained his position by the fact that the proposed document does not reflect the real political situation: the emergence of two independent powers - South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

As for the civil war in Syria, Churkin summarily vetoed six different resolutions of other countries. And all due to the fact that he considered everything that is happening in this Arab power as a manifestation of the modern and aggressive form of colonialism.

On March 15, 2014, the diplomat of the Russian Federation appealed against the UN decision on declaring a referendum on secession of Crimea from Ukraine and joining Russia illegal. As Churkin stated, until 1954, the Crimean Peninsula was part of Russia and was presented to Ukraine in violation of international law without taking into account the opinion of the people themselves, who are entitled to independently determine their future.

In July 2015, Churkin vetoed Malaysia’s proposed draft resolution regarding the shot down MN-17 aircraft over the territory of Donetsk Region in Ukraine. Vitaly Ivanovich argued his opinion that it was necessary to wait for the results of the international investigation and only then think about organizing a judicial investigation of this incident.

Churkin at a press conference


The reason for the death of Vitaly Churkin for quite a long time remained strictly classified. Reliable information is only that February 20, 2017 at 10.55 am at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, the diplomat died. He entered this medical facility in an unconscious state. The Russian did not live to see his 60th birthday in just one day.

As it became known later, the cause of Vitaly Churkin’s death is a heart attack. The official results of the medical examination were eventually given by the Americans to the widow of the deceased. It is noteworthy that on March 10, 2017, the legal department of New York banned publicly disclosing to his subordinates the circumstances of Churkin’s death in order to comply with all the norms and rules of international law in the field of diplomacy, which was positively received by the Russian representatives of the diplomatic sector.

Last way

Where is Churkin Vitaly Ivanovich buried? On February 22, 2017, the official farewell ceremony for the Russian was held in New York at the Russian Mission to the UN. Then the coffin with the deceased was sent by plane to Russia, and on February 24 the body of the deceased was interred in his homeland on the territory of the Troekurovsky cemetery in Moscow to the sound of the Russian anthem and in compliance with all military honors.

The monument to Vitaly Churkin was installed on November 6, 2017 in Istochno-Sarajevo (Republika Srpska). The inscription “Thank you for the Russian No” is engraved on the monument itself.

Churkin surrounded by colleagues

Family status

Vitaly Churkin, whose family has always played an important role in his life, was a married man. His wife's name is Irina Evgenievna. Together with her, the now-dead diplomat raised two children: a daughter, Anastasia, and a son, Maxim, who also became graduates of MGIMO. At the moment, Nastya is an employee of the Russia Today TV channel.

During his free time, Vitaly Ivanovich loved to go to the theater, watch a movie, played tennis, swam in the pool and ran on skates. The user of social networks was not.

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