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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

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

Of Journalists Killed Near Luhansk, UNSC Statement, Watered Down

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 17, more here -- After the killing of reporters including Igor Kornelyuk by Ukrainian mortar shelling near Luhansk, the UN Security Council on June 17 agreed to a press statement on protection of journalists, including an Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli previously killed along with his interpreter Andrey Mironov.

  Inner City Press asked Russian ambassador Churkin if there had been push back against this statement, like Lithuania having opposed the previous day's press statement on the attack on Russia's embassy in Kyiv, linking it to the downing of the Ukrainian military transport plane, which killed 49.

  Since Lithuania's foreign ministry had tweeted this linkage to Inner City Press, as reported here, Inner City Press put the question to Churkin. He replied that was accurate, and said that many other delegations on the Council had criticized Lithuania for the attempted linkage.

  On this press statement, Churkin said, compromises had been made making it weaker. Here is the final agreed-to text:

"The members of the Security Council express their deepest condolences to the families of all journalists who have been killed while covering the crisis in Ukraine, including the two Russian journalists killed on June 17, and the Italian photojournalist who was killed on May 24, along with his Russian interpreter. The members of the Security Council encourage a thorough investigation of all incidents of violence involving journalists.

"The members of the Security Council expressed concern about reported cases of detention and harassment of journalists covering the crisis in Ukraine.

"The members of the Security Council support the freedom of expression as a human right, including for members of the media. The members of the Security Council commend journalists around the world for the important role they play, and for their commitment to the free exchange of ideas."

  "Encouraging" an investigation hardly the strongest way to call for something. But this was agreed to.

   Afterward, Ukraine's Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev came to the microphone. Inner City Press asked him about the journalists detained; he said their station is military, and that they, by implication are military (or "agents," as outgoing French Ambassador Gerard Araud might put it).

   But even journalists who were later released say their families were called and given threats. Inner City Press asked about the bombing of Luhansk's Administrative Building, which the OSCE says came from a jet.

  Sergeyev again denied this - see previous story here. Now Sergeyev said "the terrorists" control the power and water in some five to six cities.

   On Russia's proposed Ukraine resolution, a Deputy Permanent Representative level meeting was also held on June 17 in the Security Council, while a big crowd in the UN Delegates' Lounge watched soccer. When they emerged, one DPR told Inner City Press there was movement, but still gaps.

 Earlier on June 17 at the UN's noon briefing Inner City Press asked UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq for the UN's comment on the killing of journalists by Ukraine.

  Haq said he hadn't heard of it, to check with UNESCO. But the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe already spoke on it, calling on Kyiv to investigate.

  This is a pattern. On June 16 Inner City Press asked Haq why Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hadn't yet issued at least a boilerplate condemnation of the attack on the Russian embassy in Kyiv, Haq pointed at Ban's statement on the shot down plane.

  Only a full 24 hours later, after more complaints, did Haq say at the June 17 noon briefing that Ban had spoken on the embassy attack.  Now, the US State Department through its spokesperson has expressed condolences for the killed journalist the UN's declined comment on. NOW will Ban belatedly comment?

  UNESCO, we note, is run by a candidate to replace Ban Ki-moon as UN Secretary General.

As Inner City Press reported on June 15, journalists Evgeny Davydov and Nikita Konashenkov were detained by Ukraine's National Guard at the Dnepropetrovsk airport in the Donetsky region, in what is becoming a pattern, on June 14. 

 In this they are at least luckier than Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli and his interpreter Andrey Mironov, both killed in May in the run up to the election.

  With the UN Security Council yet to issue its usual boilerplate press statement citing the Vienna Convention after the attack on Russia's embassy in Kyiv, any statement on the detention of these journalists seem even more UNlikely.

  When the UN Security Council met after the election, Lithuania's Ambassador cited the killed young Italian journalist without mentioning (Russian) Mironov, nor that authorities killed both of them. While others might take this approach, at the UN the Free UN Coalition for Access says journalists are journalists, just as civilians are civilians.

  On that, it's similar to the reaction of some to Ukraine's air force bombing Luhansk, click here for more on that.

    Back on May 25 amid voting in Ukraine, Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli and his interpreter Andrey Mironov were found dead near the village of Andreevka outside Slavyansk on May 25.

  Rocchelli had been taking photographs, for example of children seeking protection from shelling in a basement in Slavyansk's Cherevkovka neighborhood.

  Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini confirmed the deaths; another photographer who was traveling with Rocchelli and Mironov said they were hit by mortar fire as they were taking shelter in a roadside ditch; it's reported the journalists came under shelling from Ukrainian troops late on May 24.

   If this happened say in Syria, what would the reaction be? What will the reaction be now?

  On May 23 when Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the UN Yuriy Sergeyev held a press conference two days before the elections, Inner City Press began by asking him why chocolate magnate Petro Poroshenko had not agreed to participate in debates. (On May 25, Poroshenko is pictured voting, here.)

  Sergeyev replied that he understands Poroshenko would, if there is a second round.

  Then Inner City Press asked Sergeyev about the “UN” painted helicopters shown by LifeNews as being in Ukraine, and about the two LifeNews journalists then detained.

  Sergeyev said he contacted his government's defense department and was assured that helicopters that serve for pay in UN peacekeeping mission returned painted white but with the UN insignia “erased.” He said the filming was not in Ukraine.

  Inner City Press asked if it was in a UN peacekeeping mission why the soldiers around the copter were in camouflage and not UN blue helmets. This has not been answered.

  On the LifeNews journalists, Sergeyev said they had confessed to not being “pure journalists” and had revealed Ukraine military positions.

  Inner City Press asked if that wasn't always a possible charge of war reporters. It might also be asked which others detained while engaged in acts of journalism, sometimes, are not “pure journalists.”

  The Free UN Coalition for Access supports these journalists and continued to ask about their fate, as it asked the UN's Ivan Simonovic in late May.

  The two were later released, and have said they were held with sacks over their heads, arms and legs tied.

  Simonovic is set to be back in the Council on June 19, and elsewhere the day before. Watch this site.


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

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

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]