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Russia Says Ukraine Didn't Get 'Much Support' At UN

Vitaly Churkin

Vitaly Churkin

late Russian UN Ambassador

"I think it's very interesting to note. Even though the Ukrainians convened that meeting [at the UNSC] on the 2nd of February, actually, they didn't get that much support. The only support they received was from UK and from the US."

...other nations at the UN voiced support for Ukraine.

On January 31, the UN Security Council issued a press statement expressing “grave concern” over the escalating fighting in eastern Ukraine while reiterating support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Ukraine’s UN envoy, Volodymyr Yelchenko, whose country currently holds the one-month rotating presidency of the world body, put the conflict in his country’s southeastern region on the agenda.

A letter to the Security Council from Ukraine in 2014 and a resolution in 2015 endorsing the Minsk agreements has enabled the continued discussion of the war in Ukraine with occasional action taken by Security Council members

On February 2 at an emergency Security Council session, top humanitarian and political officials of the UN briefed the council on the "dangerous intensification of the conflict" which had led to civilian casualties and hardship in the freezing weather and outages of utilities.

During the February 2 televised open session, UN officials blamed both sides in the conflict for civilian suffering. UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien highlighted the damage to critical infrastructure in Avdiyivka, although he did not mention this was from Russia-backed shelling. He also noted that repair teams were shot at with small arms, but did not note that this was reportedly by Russia-backed militants. O’Brien criticized the separatist leaders in the Donetsk region for “undue bureaucratic restrictions” hindering humanitarian aid, as well as the Ukrainian government for maintaining a trade blockade on the separatist-held area and blocking social payments to residents there.

UNICEF’s Giovanna Barberis highlighted the plight of children in Avdiyivka unable to go to school.

In her first appearance at the UN Security Council, the new US permanent representative to the UN, Nikki Haley, made a strong statement regarding Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, saying the dire situation in eastern Ukraine is one that “demands clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions.”

Despite speculation President Donald Trump could lift sanctions against Russia, Haley stated unequivocally that Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine.

"The United States continues to condemn and call for an immediate end to the Russian occupation of Crimea," said Haley. "Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine."

Sweden’s UN envoy, Per Thöresson, also made a particularly strong statement, saying “Let us not lose sight of who is the aggressor and who is the victim in this conflict.” He highlighted “Russia's particular responsibility” and stressed that “Russia has the influence needed to end the violence, should it wish to use it.”

Churkin repeated Russian denials of any role in the fighting in eastern Ukraine. He also claimed Ukraine was “pretending to be a victim of aggression” to obtain more funding from international institutions.

Churkin died suddenly in his office at the Russian Mission to the UN in New York City on February 20, 2017, evidently of heart failure.