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22 Jan, 2015 05:53

US plays ‘instigator’s role’ in Ukraine crisis – Russian UN envoy

Washington has played the role of instigator throughout the entire Ukrainian conflict, said Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin. He added that Kiev authorities have not taken any steps to start dialogue with the militia in eastern Ukraine.

“Throughout the whole Ukrainian crisis, the US have been playing a destructive – or to call a spade a spade – instigative role,” Churkin said during the Wednesday meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in Ukraine. According to Churkin, after every visit by senior US officials to Ukraine, Kiev authorities have been “stepping up the confrontational nature of their actions.”

READ MORE: Donetsk shelled as Kiev ‘orders massive fire’ on militia-held E. Ukraine

“The current military escalation has miraculously coincided with the visit of US Army Europe chief [Lt. General Frederick Ben Hodges] to Kiev,” he added. Hodges held a press conference in Kiev on Wednesday, during which he said that the US is planning to expand military cooperation with Ukraine.

READ MORE: US Army Command delegation to arrive in Kiev this week

Starting now: Amb. V.Churkin speaking at the #UNSC about situation in #Ukraine. | Watch live: http://t.co/hvDdIuhcRLpic.twitter.com/y2Ub2HOZSL

— Russian Mission UN (@RussiaUN) January 21, 2015

“Wherever Washington is turning its eyes – Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine – there is destabilization, crisis, blood,” the Churkin said.

The Russian diplomat responded to the speech of Ukraine’s UN envoy, Yury Sergeev, who accused Moscow of aggression towards Ukraine.

“During our multiple Security Council discussions, the Ukrainian delegation hasn’t said...a non-offensive word about the population of the south-east of the country [Ukraine],” he said, adding that Kiev officials call them “bandits” and “terrorists.” Churkin stressed that “only inclusive political dialogue” can solve the crisis in the country.

According to the Ukrainian envoy, the recent Kiev mobilization is a move to protect the country from rebels in eastern regions. Sergeyev claimed that Ukraine stands for a “peaceful solution of the crisis based on Minsk agreements and respect of territorial integrity, sovereignty and political unity of the country.” Kiev authorities “do everything possible to meet the needs of civilians in Donbass region,” which includes Lugansk and Donetsk regions, he said.

READ MORE: New military draft starts in Ukraine amid intensified assault on militia-held territories

Churkin also repelled claims by US envoy Samantha Power, who said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s new peace proposal aimed at eliminating the conflict in eastern Ukraine is “an occupation plan”.

Time and again, #Putin has extended an olive branch in one hand, while passing out Grad missiles & tanks with the other. #Ukraine

— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) January 21, 2015

“The plan would seek to legitimize territorial gains made by separatists in September as well as Russian personnel and equipment on the territory of Ukraine,” Power told the UN Security Council.

READ MORE: Poroshenko rejected Putin’s artillery withdrawal plan, began assault - Kremlin

The Russian envoy, however, replied that Moscow was ensuring “full compliance with the Minsk agreement.” Kremlin has repeatedly called on all sides of the conflict sides respect the treaty. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pointed out on Wednesday that the freshly-made statement on the conflict was worked out by the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia, and is fully in line with the de-escalation plan that Putin proposed to Kiev.

READ MORE: Heavy weapons in Ukraine must be pulled back urgently – ‘Normandy Four’

‘Ukraine PM would rather Ukraine be under Nazi occupation?’

Russia’s UN envoy also highlighted the recent statement by Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatsenyuk about the “USSR invading Germany and Ukraine,” which caused quite a stir in Russia, as well as calls for European leaders to react.

Saying that the Ukrainian official clearly “lamented” what he called an “invasion” of the Red Army – which liberated Eastern Europe from German Nazi troops – Churkin noted that “apparently, he [Yatsenyuk] would rather Ukraine was still under Nazi occupation.”

READ MORE: ‘Soviets invading Germany, Ukraine:’ Berlin faces tough choice on PM Yatsenyuk’s WW2 take

He also noted the absence of any reaction to these statements from European countries: “It is strange that anyone pretending to be civilized can tolerate such ideological sabotage. Kiev is apparently using such ideological guidelines during the so-called ‘anti-terror’ operation [in eastern Ukraine], which is in fact a punitive one.”

The Russian diplomat reminded that Kiev decided to celebrate October 14, which is the day of creation of Ukrainian Insurgent Army, as a national holiday. “There is glorification of Ukrainian Nazi collaborators [Stepan] Bandera and [Roman] Shukhevych who had the blood of tens of thousands Soviet and Polish civilians on their hands,” he said.

Permanent Representative of Russia in UN Churkin: "To celebrate Bandera and Shukhevich would be like celebrating Ku-Klux-Klan in USA!"

— Vera Van Horne (@VeraVanHorne) January 22, 2015

Earlier, Moscow had been puzzled by Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna, who stated it was the Ukrainians who liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. He was answering a question related to invitations to join the ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the German Nazi concentration camp by the Red Army on January 27, 1945.

The Polish official seemingly confused the name given to the Soviet Army’s 1st Ukrainian Front with the soldiers’ ethnicity. Previously, the regiment had played a crucial role in liberating parts of modern Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. It was called the Voronezh Front and earlier the Bryansk Front.

The Russian foreign minister condemned Schetyna’s ‘cynical’ comments: “I can’t even comment on the statement of Polish minister [Schetyna] that Ukrainians liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau [concentration camp]… the Red Army liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau. There were Russians, Ukrainians, Chechens, Georgians, Tatars, and trying to play on some nationalist feelings in this situation is absolutely blasphemous and cynical,” Lavrov said

READ MORE: Rewriting history? Polish FM says Ukrainians liberated Auschwitz, Russia puzzled