Russia requests U.N. Security Council meeting on Ukraine

An emergency U.N. Security Council on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is being held Tuesday evening in New York, at Russia's request.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   Aug. 5, 2014 at 6:35 PM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- On Tuesday, Russia requested the United Nations Security Council hold an emergency session on Ukraine.

The meeting was expected to be held later in the day.

Russia's ambassador to the U.N., Vitaly Churkin, explained that the meeting was being called to discuss "the humanitarian situation in Ukraine" in response to figures released by the U.N.'s refugee agency regarding the numbers of Ukrainians forcibly displaced by conflict.

According to U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees' spokesperson Vincent Cochetel, "the U.N. refugee agency estimates that over 117,000 people are currently displaced inside Ukraine. In the past seven days more than 6,200 people have been forced from their homes. As of 1 August, an estimated 168,000 people had also crossed into Russia so far this year."

Russia's foreign ministry has suggested sending a Russian-led humanitarian mission into Ukraine, an initiative expected to be discussed at the U.N. Security Council meeting but one that was not welcomed by Ukraine's military.

At a briefing on Monday, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko emphasized that Russia's involvement in a peacekeeping operation would be "the strict prerogative of the U.N. (United Nations) Security Council" and that any unilateral action by Russia to do so would be rejected.

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