The United Nations Security Council has held a meeting to discuss the human rights situation in Ukraine, Press TV reports.
During the meeting on Wednesday, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin took the floor to criticize Kiev’s military operation against protesters in the eastern provinces of Ukraine.
He highlighted the use of extra-legal armed groups like the “Right Sector,” saying they are being mobilized to attack pro-Russian demonstrators.
The Russian envoy also slammed Kiev’s failure to heed the demands of people in eastern Ukraine.
“Those who usurped power in Kiev as a result of a coup, have now embarked on the course towards ignoring the legal demands of the people of the south-east and anti-constitutionally using armed forces for quelling their own people, blasphemously dubbing them as bandits and terrorists,” he said.
US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, however, defended the actions of the newly-installed pro-West Ukrainian government against activists, claiming that the protests are being incited by Moscow.
“Every major city in the region has at least one building under occupation. It is clear that these actions were not a set of spontaneous events or homegrown, but rather a well-orchestrated professional campaign of incitement, separatism, and sabotage of the Ukrainian state,” she said.
Russia has urged an end to the violent repression of demonstrators in the Ukrainian eastern cities and protection of the human rights of all people.
David McReynolds, a peace activist from the War Resistors League (WRL), said that underlying the crisis is aggression by the US and NATO against Russia.
“NATO keeps pushing east toward what had been the Soviet Union. Russia had hoped that when it saw the collapse of Eastern Europe … the West would let that become more or less neutral [but] the West kept pushing NATO farther east,” he stated.
On Tuesday, Ukraine’s acting President Oleksandr Turchynov announced “an anti-terror operation” in the east of Ukraine amid escalating pro-Russian protests in the region.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Kiev’s military action will place the country on the verge of a civil war.
Reports have surfaced that some Ukrainian soldiers sent to the east, have laid down their weapons and joined with the protesters.
Protesters continue to occupy government, police and other administrative buildings in nearly 10 cities close to the Russian border. Protesters have been demanding local referendums on either independence or integration into Russia.