Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

On Ukraine, Russia Says No One Denies Volunteers, Qs to Kyiv & US UNanswered

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 28 -- When the UN Security Council held an open meeting on Ukraine on August 28, the first speaker was UN (and former US) official Jeffrey Feltman.

  Feltman said, "“the southward spread of fighting, along with border with the Russian Federation and the Sea of Avoz, marks a dangerous escalation in the conflict. The battle for Lugansk continues, and hostilities in Donetsk in several key strategic areas have been spreading.”

   Earlier this year on Ukraine, leaked audio had it that Feltman "got" UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to send Robert Serry to Crimea - and we know how that turned out.

  Next, Lithuania's Permanent Representative spoke, saying weapons do not fall into rebels' hands out of the blue. This is true - and true in Syria as well.

  French deputy Alex Lamek quoted his president Francois Hollande against Russia arming rebels in Ukraine. Not mentioned for Hollande's statement in La Reunion about providing arms to opposition groups in Syria.

  US Ambassador Samantha Power said the question now is what to do to Russia to make it listen. She said Ukraine is one of a dozen countries with borders with Russia and that this will be a precedent.

  Argentina's Permanent Representative María Cristina Perceval, nuanced, said she wished the Security Council could have brought the parties to some agreement, at least one some issues.

  Nigeria's Permanent Representative Joy Ogwu said among other things that the government of Ukraine must accommodate the interests of all of its citizens.

  China's deputy called for a prompt ceasefire, citing the “legitimate rights interests and aspirations of all regions and ethnic groups.”

  Russia's Vitaly Churkin said that the escalation is a result of Kyiv declaring war on its own people, that Petro Poroshenko's peace plan was predicated on capitulation of the rebels. He said Ukraine armed forces have been shelling civilian quarters, using phosphorus.

 Significantly, Churkin said that no one is hiding that there are volunteers in Ukraine (alternative translation: everybody knows there are Russian volunteers in the East of Ukreaine) - but asked the US now to be equally transparent and explain staff in Ukrainian Security Council building.

  Churkin proposed that UNSC members agree to a press statement, “calling for unconditional ceasefire,” aid to Donetsk and Lugansk - that they vote on it immediately, at the table.

   The UK's Mark Lyall Grant cites the weapons holdings of the separatists, mentioned NATO intelligence, but did not respond to Churkin's request for a vote.

  Lithuania suggested that no vote be taken, as the statement did not say the separatists block aid, and mentioned other amendment. No vote was taken.

 Ukraine's deputy Oleksandr Pavlichenko used the word invasion, and said Russia has, near the border, 192 military aircraft and 137 helicopters.

  Churkin asked Pavlichenko two questions: why hasn't Ukraine given the air traffic control tapes of MH17 to the Dutch or made them public? And didn't Ukraine understanding that a ceasefire only for capitulation would never fly?

  Pavlichenko spoke again but did not answer. He said Ukraine is active in the investigation - but what about the tapes? On the demand for capitulation, he did not answer.

  After the meeting, as the Security Council turn to a public self-review under Note 507, US Ambassador Samantha Power left. She was asked about what Churkin said, and replied, "Not true."

  The US is president of the Security Council in September and President Barack Obama will chair a meeting about the flow of foreign fighters, another Council members tells Inner City Press, on September 24 or 25. We'll have more on this.

   At a Churkin press conference on August 22, Inner City Press asked about the draft press statement Russia proposed on August 21.

 Churkin said that the “indefatigable” Lithuanian delegation “sent in amendments” that dropped references to Russia and included references to the European Union and dropped the reference to a ceasefire. Then, Churkin said, the US delegations send in amendments dropping the ceasefire and blaming the separatists.

  Inner City Press also asked about a report by CNN from Eastern Ukraine in which correspondent Diana Magney asked why Russia was sending salt if there are salt mines in Eastern Ukraine.

  Churkin said, "You can mine salt if you are not shelled.  If you are hiding in your cellars, mining salt is problematic."

   Later the Voice of America's correspondent asked about accusations that the convoy was only to support the rebels.

  "With baby food?" Churkin asked.

   "Rebels have babies too," the Voice of America correspondent said. The implication seemed to be that starving children based on the positions taken by their parents would be okay. We'll have more on this - for now, click here.

  Back on July 28 Inner City Press asked Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin about this read-out: does the US support a ceasefire?

I supposed he said they did,” Churkin replied. “What their message is in private to the Ukrainians is a different story... There was a phone converation between Vice President Biden and President Poroshenko [then] they went up another stage in escalating the conflict after that and immediately.”

  Procedurally, Ukraine set aside the first question at its press conference saying, "Pamela, traditionally you open our session." Using this UN Correspondents Association set-aside, Pam Falk of CBS asked about rebels mining the MH17 site. Her UNCA sidekick asked about "Russian propaganda."

   And so it went until, fifth, the new Free UN Coalition for Access asked about HRW's report. This is how it's working, with the UN's Censorship Alliance. In this context, the Free UN Coalition for Access is against the automatic setting-aside of questions.


Share |

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2014 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]