by Jack Long
On 20 February 2017, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin died a few hours before his 65th birthday. Fellow UN Ambassadors spoke of him as a charismatic, caring, yet strong diplomat that deeply cared for the progress of his country and humanitarian issues.
Churkin, though, has garnered criticism with his support for al-Assad’s government forces in Syria, as well as his refusal to address the Crimean peninsula on the UN Security Council.
But for Russians, Churkin is seen as the embodiment of the New Russia. Strong, independent, as well as a world-player Churkin was an exemplification of this New Russia and the hopes of the Russian people in the 21st century.