The Legacy of Vitaly Churkin, a Russian Grandmaster of the U.N. Game

The Legacy of Vitaly Churkin, a Russian Grandmaster of the U.N. Game
Russia's former U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin returns to his seat after making a statement, New York, Oct. 13, 2016 (AP photo by Seth Wenig).

In the past two months, three of the most influential individuals at the United Nations have made their exits. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon bade farewell in December. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power quit as the Obama administration wrapped up in January. And this week, Russian representative Vitaly Churkin died unexpectedly at his office at the Russian mission in New York. His departure may be the most significant of all three. Ban was a stodgy bureaucrat. Power was a fiery but often frustrated advocate for serious U.N. interventions in trouble spots like the Central African Republic and South Sudan. Churkin was an old-school […]

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