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As Ukraine Claims Support for Poroshenko Plan & UN Delivers, Russia Mocks

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 20 -- When Ukraine's Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev scheduled a UN press conference for 10 am on June 20, Inner City Press went to cover it rather than go to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speech on Syria (reported on here).

  The UN Press Briefing Room was nearly empty. Photo here. Sergeyev described what he called the forthcoming plan of President Petro Poroshenko, and UN human rights official Ivan Simonovic's report.

  Inner City Press asked Sergeyev about the killing of civilians, in particular five year old Arseny Danchenko reportedly killed by mortars in Golubovka near Slovyansk, and on behalf of the new Free UN Coalition for Access about the killing and abuse of journalists.

  Sergeyev and his spokesperson said the killing of the boy had been discredited, with neighbors saying the parents were paid to feign the death. Inner City Press asked, so the boy is alive? We may have more on this. Video here.

  On the journalists, Sergeyev said they were traveling with fighters or terrorists and should have worn helmets; he answered Inner City Press about confessions other journalist had given. Inner City Press left his briefing at 10:30 am, to cover Ban Ki-moon speech by webcast, here.

  At noon, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric for any comment on Ukraine and what Sergeyev called Poroshenko's forthcoming plan. Dujarric said “the Secretary General welcomes Pres Poroshenko's... fourteen peace plan,” and called it “encouraging.”

  Inner City Press asked, the shelling of Slovyansk? Any comment on that?

  Dujarric repeated a “blanket call for cessation of all violence that we have seen and continue to see.”

  Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin called a 12:30 pm press conference to respond to Sergeyev. Photo here. Inner City Press asked Churkin about spokesman Dujarric's praise for the Secretary General of the Poroshenko plan.

  Churkin said, “I'll have to look at the Secretary General's comments... I'd think a senior offical would want to look at the plan before welcoming it.”

  Inner City Press asked about what Sergeyev said about the killed journalists. Churkin replied that Sergeyev “goes to details into what happened, sometimes details change. To me, this is another indication of the claim that is made in our media that those journalists were followed and targeted for several days before targeted and killed.”

  Inner City Press hopes to hear back from the Ukrainian side (while noting perhaps its 10 am press conference should have been re-scheduled: the result is Sergeyev spoke to an almost empty room, while Churkin replied to a much larger audience).

  On a second round, Inner City Press asked Churkin about Paragraph 171 of Simonovic's report, about the bombing of the Luhansk administration building on June 2. Earlier this week, Simonovic told Inner City Press his team had no expertise in armaments. Inner City Press asked Churkin, who's paying for this team?

  Churkin said “if the United Nations is paying, I think they are wasting a lot of time. For this attack, they used projectiles, one of them is stuck in the ground next to the building. And they don't have experts?”

  Churkin said he hadn't yet read Ban Ki-moon's Syria speech, which Inner City Press has covered here. Watch this site.


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