Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin (Russian: Виталий Иванович Чуркин) (born February 21, 1952 in Moscow) is the current Permanent Representative (Ambassador) of the Russian Federation to the United Nations. He replaced Andrey I. Denisov on May 1, 2006, when he presented his credentials to the then Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan.
He graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1974, and began working for them then, and received a PhD in history from the USSR Diplomatic Academy in 1981. He was then Director of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)/ Russian Federation. He also served as a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, and was Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation from 1992 to 1994.
Prior to his current diplomatic post, Churkin was his country’s Ambassador to Belgium from 1994 to 1998, and to Canada from 1998 to 2003. He was then Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, a post he held from 2003 to 2006.