U.S. Tells Russia to ‘Stop Lying’ About Its Involvement in Ukraine

The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss the conflict.

United States U.N. Representative Samantha Power speaks at a United Nations Security Council meeting about the ongoing Ukrainian-Russian conflict on Aug. 28.
National Journal
Marina Koren
Aug. 28, 2014, 11:47 a.m.

The United Na­tions Se­cur­ity Coun­cil met Thursday to dis­cuss the Ukraine crisis for the 24th time this year, after re­ports in­dic­ated that Rus­si­an sol­diers and weapons had crossed the bor­der in­to east­ern Ukraine to sup­port in­sur­gents there.

Sam­antha Power, the U.S. am­bas­sad­or to the U.N., said that Rus­sia is not pulling back in Ukraine as it has re­peatedly prom­ised to do.

“Rus­sia has come be­fore UN­SC to say everything ex­cept truth. It has ma­nip­u­lated. It has ob­fus­cated. It has out­right lied,” Power said. “We have learned to meas­ure Rus­sia by its ac­tions, not its words. In last 48 hours, Rus­sia‘s ac­tions have spoken volumes.”

This week, Rus­sia sent ar­mored troops and oth­er mil­it­ary equip­ment in­to east­ern Ukraine in at least three sep­ar­ate trips. On Thursday, Ukrain­i­an Pres­id­ent Petro Poroshen­ko de­clared a “Rus­si­an in­va­sion” of his coun­try. Also on Thursday, NATO re­leased satel­lite im­agery that it says shows Rus­si­an armed forces in­side Ukraine. The agency said that more than 1,000 Rus­si­an sol­diers have now joined pro-Rus­sia sep­ar­at­ists. The rebel lead­er in the re­gion had pre­vi­ously told a Rus­si­an tele­vi­sion net­work that 3,000 to 4,000 Rus­si­an sol­diers had ar­rived there to help.

Rus­sia has denied that it is provid­ing sup­port to sep­ar­at­ists in east­ern Ukraine.

West­ern of­fi­cials be­lieve Rus­sia mo­bil­ized these mil­it­ary move­ments to provide re­in­force­ments to pro-Rus­sia sep­ar­at­ists re­cently weakened by at­tacks from the Ukrain­i­an mil­it­ary. The rebels have been fight­ing with Ukrain­i­an forces since April, a month after Rus­sia an­nexed the Crimean pen­in­sula. More than 2,000 people have died in the con­flict.

“Rus­sia has to stop ly­ing and has to stop fuel­ing this con­flict,” Power said.

Vi­taly Chur­kin, the Rus­si­an am­bas­sad­or to the U.N., put the blame for the re­cent es­cal­a­tion on Ukraine. “Didn’t you un­der­stand what kinds of con­sequences this could lead to?” he said, re­fer­ring to Ukraine’s at­tempts to drive sep­ar­at­ists out. “We know our re­gion. We know how close our ties are. This was an ob­vi­ous step to­ward es­cal­a­tion. In­sur­gents couldn’t just lay down their weapons and give up and leave for Rus­sia.”

In oth­er words, the sep­ar­at­ist move­ment in east­ern Ukraine is far from over.

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