A picture of Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, is displayed while people sign condolences books at the Russian Mission to the U.N. in New York, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. The city medical examiner was expected to perform an autopsy Tuesday on Russia's ambassador to the U.N., who died a day earlier after falling ill at his office at Russia's U.N. mission. (AP/Seth Wenig)

State Department Lobbied to Keep Russian Ambassador’s Cause of Death Secret

Amid increased scrutiny regarding the deaths of several top Russian diplomats in recent months, the State Department is now asking the New York City medical examiner’s office to refrain from releasing details regarding the sudden death of Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin.