01:39 GMT +324 February 2019
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    Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin vetoes a Security Council vote on a French-Spanish resolution on Syria at the UN headquarters, October 8, 2016, in New York City

    Ukraine Conflict Unresolved Because Kiev Tries to ‘Twist’ Minsk Peace Pact

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    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)

    The impasse in efforts to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine is the result of efforts by the government in Kiev to “twist” the Minsk agreements, Russia’s United Nations Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters on the sidelines of a UN Security Council meeting Tuesday.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — During a Security Council meeting earlier Tuesday on women, peace and security, Iryna Herashchenko, Ukraine’s delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, made allegations of human-rights abuses and civilian casualties, particularly among women and children, due to Russian military action in eastern Ukraine.

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko attends a ceremony to hand over weapons and military vehicles to servicemen of the Ukrainian armed forces in Chuhuiv outside Kharkiv, Ukraine, October 15, 2016
    © REUTERS / Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service

    "The conflict in the east of Ukraine would have been resolved long ago were it not for Kiev's numerous attempts to twist and distort the Minsk agreements signed a year and a half ago," Churkin said.

    Herashchenko said that over the past two years, at least 495 women have died in the Donbass territory, and she cited the case of Nadezhda Savchenko, a Ukrainian military pilot who was detained by Russia for over two years and released in May.

    Churkin responded to Herashchenko before the Security Council by pointing to reports of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that cite numerous rights abuses, including cases in which the victims were women.

    Churkin also said that, following her release, Savchenko recommended that Ukrainian authorities apologize to the people of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions — advice that he said Kiev did not heed due to a lack of “political courage.”

    In February 2015, a peace agreement between Ukraine’s warring parties was signed in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. One of the agreement’s provisions is an all-for-all prisoner exchange. In May, Russian President Vladimir Putin pardoned Savchenko on her conviction by a Russian court as an accomplice in the murder of two Russian journalists in Donbass.

    After Minsk: Will Peace Come to Ukraine? (1049)


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    UN Security Council, Nadezhda Savchenko, Vitaly Churkin, Donbass, Ukraine
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