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Ukraine military says a column of refugees was attacked leaving Luhansk, killing many women and children. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Minsk, Belarus on August 26.

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Shown here with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) at UN Headquarters in New York are the Mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arsenij Yatsenuk, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Also pictured is Robert Serry, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. In a telephone call between the Secretary- General and Ukrainian President Poroshenko recently, the Secretary-General expressed the hope that there be tangible progress in implementing President Poroshenko’s peace plan. UN Photo/ Mark Garten

Shown here with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) at UN Headquarters in New York are the Mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arsenij Yatsenuk, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Also pictured is Robert Serry, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. In a telephone call between the Secretary- General and Ukrainian President Poroshenko recently, the Secretary-General expressed the hope that there be tangible progress in implementing President Poroshenko’s peace plan. UN Photo/ Mark Garten

On August 19, during the Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General at UN Headquarters in New York, “Baltic Review” asked the following question: “Today,‘The New York Times’ ran an article entitled, ‘Rebels kill dozens in attack on refugee caravan, Ukraine says”, in which it was reported that many of those seeking refuge, including women and children, were burned alive. Although members of the UN Security Council such as Lithuanian Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite have spoken out about the role of disinformation in this Ukrainian-Russian conflict, why doesn’t the UN say anything about this issue?

UN Spokesperson for Ban Ki-moon, Stephane Dujarric, replied as follows: “I think the UN has spoken out on this general issue in its regular reports on human rights from the human rights monitors, but I think the incident you referred to, the tragic incident you referred to, underscores the urgency for a cease fire and a diplomatic solution be found as quickly as possible, and obviously, these are issues that Mr. Feltman will take up when he travels to Ukraine.”

In the article that follows, “Baltic Review” will share with you what we are hearing at UN Headquarters In New York concerning several fast-moving events in Ukraine. As the world anticipates the August 26 meeting between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Minsk, Belarus, keep your ears open for this weekend’s meeting with German Chancellor Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroschenko.

There should be breaking news, too, on that puzzling 280 car convoy of “humanitarian aid” which has been stalled at the Russian border. The question “Baltic Review” is asking is why are so many cars half empty? The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, will be in Ukraine August 21-24, and she is expected to visit Eastern Ukraine to see firsthand the humanitarian situation
in the areas affected by fighting.

Noteworthy, too, are the statements made by NATO’s Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) are supporting the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and independence of Ukraine, just like the majority of UN Member States, as well as the UN Secretary-General, who favors the implementation of Petro Poroshenko’s peace plan.

To round out what top diplomats are saying about the situation in Ukraine, don’t miss comments made by Ivan Simonovic Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Australia’s Gary Quinlan, Lithuania’s Raimonda Murmokaite, the USA’s Samantha Power, the United Kingdom’s Mark Lyall Grant, and Ukraine’s Oleksandr Pavlichenko.

On August 18, based on a statement issued by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, “a column of Internally displaced persons (IDPs) attempting to leave the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine was attacked. According to media reports, the Ukrainian military says many people, including women and children, died when rockets and mortars hit vehicles during today’s attack.”

The UN Secretary- General reportedly called for a peaceful resolution of the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine and emphasized the need for progress in implementing the peace plan announced by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in June that involves proposals for decentralizing power, holding early elections, and creating a buffer zone on the Ukrainian-Russian border.” Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, will return to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, this week.

Ann Charles
Ann Charles is UN Bureau Chief of "Baltic Review" based in New York City. She covers diplomatic activities at United Nations Headquarters in New York and the world body's work in human rights, education, culture, the environment, and tourism, among other global concerns.

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