UNITED NATIONS, January 25 (Sputnik) – The UN Security Council could not agree on a press statement following an attack on the city of Mariupol in south-eastern Ukraine, which killed at least 30 civilians, the Russian Mission to the United Nations has announced.
“Throughout the day of January 24 we were discussing a possible UN Security Council reaction to the events in Mariupol, which caused civilian casualties. The consensus has not been reached though because the delegation of the United Kingdom insisted on condemnation of some of the self-defense forces’ statements,” the Russian Mission said in a statement Saturday.
In contrast, since the very start of the Ukrainian conflict, Western members of the UN Security Council have consistently refused to condemn “any statements and actions (often very aggressive) made by the Kiev authorities”, the Russian Mission to the United Nations stressed.
Earlier on Saturday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack on residential areas in Mariupol, saying that it was likely a violation of international humanitarian law.
Mariupol, located just outside the main conflict zone in the Donetsk region, was shelled on Saturday. According to the Special Monitory Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), deployed in Ukraine, the Grad and Uragan rockets which hit about 8.5 km (5.3 miles) north-east of the city center were fired from the north-east direction.
The head of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko said that Kiev has gathered its forces near Mariupol over the past few days, with militia’s positions being constantly attacked with Grad missiles and artillery.
Kiev forces have recently intensified shelling in the south-eastern region of Donetsk, having officially acknowledged that a major security operation was being carried out at the Donetsk airport.
Kiev started military action in south-eastern Ukraine in mid-April, 2014, in response to local residents’ refusal to recognize the new government, which came to power as a result of a coup in February.
In September, the conflicting sides reached a ceasefire agreement at a meeting in the Belarusian capital, Minsk. The meeting was also attended by representatives from Russia and the OSCE.
Fighting has continued in south-eastern Ukraine despite the Minsk truce.