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On “UN” Copter in Ukraine, UN Tells ICP Kyiv Contacted by UN Peacekeeping

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 13 -- Ukraine is a major provider of helicopters and air services to the UN, and amid the Kyiv government's “counter-terrorism” offensive on May 13 video surfaced of a white helicopter marked “UN,” here.

The UN has in the past complained of governments using UN-marked equipment for their own military goals. So Inner City Press submitted these questions on deadline to Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric and his deputy Farhan Haq:

This is a Press request for UN comment on deadline on this video

featuring “UN” helicopters in Ukraine. Is this appropriate? Why would Ukraine have helicopters with such markings inside Ukraine? What does the UN allow Ukraine to use them for? What will the UN do? On deadline.

  Hours went by without any substantive answer. Inner City Press asked about the issue at the UN Security Council stakeout, video here from Minute 5:17.

  More than six hours later, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Office of the Spokesperson provided this response to Inner City Press:

Subject: On Ukraine.
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Tue, May 13, 2014 at 7:40 PM

The Departments of Peacekeeping Operations and Field Support are in contact with the Ukrainian authorities concerning this issue. It is the responsibility of Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) that provide Contingent Owned Equipment to peacekeeping missions to remove all logos and signage bearing the UN's name once such equipment has been repatriated to the home country or is no longer being used for official UN purposes. Moreover, every Letter of Assist, signed between the UN and TCC, also clearly states that “the Government may only use such painted and marked Aircraft for flights, which have been tasked by the United Nations.”

   We will await more -- that is, the response of the Kyiv authorities and what the UN actually does. Inner City Press asked another question as well, and has questions pending back to the first week of Dujarric's tenure in March.
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