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Russia calls emergency U.N. Security Council session

Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin called an emergency session of the UN Security Council on Friday to discuss the situation in Ukraine. He criticized the West for its support of the Ukrainian government's "punitive measures" against the pro-Russian separatists and implied there was "external interference" at work in eastern Ukraine.

By
JC Finley
Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, speaks to reporters at United Nations Headquarters. (UPI/Dennis Van Tine)
Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, speaks to reporters at United Nations Headquarters. (UPI/Dennis Van Tine) | License Photo

NEW YORK, May 2 (UPI) -- Russia requested an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting on Friday to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

Speaking at the emergency session, Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin criticized the West for its support of the Ukrainian government's militarized response to unrest in eastern Ukraine.

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"The Kiev regime, encouraged by its Western sponsors, has resorted to a large-scale use of military force, actually killing the last hope for viability of the Geneva accords," he told the council.

Churkin went on to allege the Ukrainian government was taking "punitive measures" against the pro-Russian separatists and implied there was "external interference" at work in eastern Ukraine.

"Particular concern is raised by data that, during the punitive operation of the Ukrainian military and illegal ultra-nationalist groups, English speech was heard on air, and among the assailants on Slavyansk, English speaking foreigners were seen."

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U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, in response, called on Russia to "cease its provocative acts" and recommit itself to the Geneva accord that it signed with Ukraine on April 17.

The U.S., she said, continues to support Ukraine's democratic transition and scheduled May 25 elections and commended Ukrainian officials for their measured response to unrest in the country's east.

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