UN / UKRAINE HOSTILITIES

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02-Feb-2017 00:03:16
The United Nations top political affairs official told a Security Council meeting on the recent intensification of the Ukrainian conflict, that the international community must remain engaged “if we are to prevent this crisis becoming a catastrophe.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / UKRAINE HOSTILITIES
TRT: 03:16
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / RUSSIAN / NATS

DATELINE: 02 FEBRUARY 2017, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations headquarters

02 FEBRUARY 2017, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Med shot, US Ambassador Nikki Haley
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeffrey D. Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs:
“The recent intensification of the conflict coincides with a period of relative stagnation in the diplomatic process designed to find a peaceful solution and ensure the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. The international community must remain engaged constructively and actively, however, if we are to prevent this crisis becoming a catastrophe. In this regard, there is a pressing need to revitalise the negotiation process without delay.”
5. Med shot, delegates
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Stephen O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator:
“I am alarmed at the turn this conflict has taken, and the increasing toll this has on the civilian population. As the humanitarian situation in Ukraine deteriorates, increasing numbers of people are at risk and in need, their resilience eroded and their hope fading. The inability to reach a political solution to this crisis is resulting in further civilian casualties, damage to critical infrastructure and more human suffering.”
7. Med shot, delegates
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Volodymyr Yelchenko, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations:
“Destroying critical infrastructure and thus creating humanitarian disaster is a terrorist tactics aimed primarily at civilians. This tactic obliterates the Russian propaganda myth about peaceful miners who fight against authorities with their shotguns. Locals would never do this to their neighbours, but those who came to Ukrainian soil as aggressors to destroy Ukrainian statehood do not hesitate to damage factories, houses, power-lines. This tactic is not new for the Russian forces. The mentioned Russia's actions may qualify as a war crime.”
9. Med shot, delegates
10. SOUNDBITE (Russian) Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations:
“The reason is clear, Kiev is trying to use the clashes that they themselves started as a pretext to completely pull out of the implementation of the Minsk agreement s of 12 February 2015, enshrined in Security Council resolution 22 02. Spin it as the Ukrainians might try, including by initiating today’s Security Council meeting, and making statements completely divorced from reality, old information including recognition by Ukrainian officials, indeed the President of the country, is so overwhelming that the destructive policy of Kiev and its armed forces cannot be denied.”
11. Med shot, delegates
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Nikki Haley, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations:
“I consider it unfortunate that the occasion of my first appearance here is one in which I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia. It is unfortunate because it is a replay of far too many instances over many years in which United States representatives have needed to do that. It should not have to be that way. We do want to better our relations with Russia. However, the dire situation in Eastern Ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions.”
13. Wide shot, Council

STORYLINE:

The United Nations top political affairs official today (2 Feb) told a Security Council meeting on the recent intensification of the Ukrainian conflict that the international community must remain engaged “if we are to prevent this crisis becoming a catastrophe.”

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman told the Council that “there is a pressing need to revitalise the negotiation process without delay.”

In his address to the Council, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O'Brien, expressed alarm at the increasing toll the conflict has taken on the civilian population.

As the humanitarian situation in Ukraine deteriorates, he said, “increasing numbers of people are at risk and in need, their resilience eroded and their hope fading.”

O'Brien said “the inability to reach a political solution to this crisis is resulting in further civilian casualties, damage to critical infrastructure and more human suffering.”

Ukrainian Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko told the Council that “destroying critical infrastructure and thus creating humanitarian disaster is a terrorist tactics aimed primarily at civilians.”

Yelchenko said this tactic “is not new for the Russian forces” and “may qualify as a war crime.”

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, said “Kiev is trying to use the clashes that they themselves started as a pretext to completely pull out of the implementation of the Minsk agreement.”

The new United States Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said it was “unfortunate” that her first appearance at the Council “is one in which I must condemn the aggressive actions of Russia.”

Haley said “we do want to better our relations with Russia. However, the dire situation in Eastern Ukraine is one that demands clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions.”

On 31 January, the Council issued a press statement saying its 15 members were gravely concerned about the situation in the country's eastern region and its severe impact on the local civilian population.

Intense fighting in the town of Avdiivka on 29 and 30 January disabled electricity and water, including the Donetsk Filtration Station and the backup reservoir.

More than 2,500 children in the Donetsk region of Ukraine are without heat, electricity or water, prompting the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to call for an end to fighting in the area so that the infrastructure can be repaired.

With temperatures plummeting to 1 degree Fahrenheit (minus 17 degrees Celsius), the situation could have catastrophic consequences, according to UNICEF.
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