28th September 2015, For Immediate Release

Appearance of Vladimir Putin at UN Summit an insult to Ukraine

The Ukrainian community in Great Britain is angered by the appearance of Vladimir Putin at the UN summit. Putin has clearly violated international law by invading Georgia, annexing Crimea and waging war in Eastern Ukraine. 

It is a  tragedy that the UN, whose role should be to condemn and prevent conflict and promote human rights, is instead giving Putin a world stage which allows him to lie about his complicity in thousands of deaths in Eastern Ukraine and the corrupt legal system in Russia is creating a new generation of political prisoners. President Putin has consistently flouted international law to promote conflict and disregard human rights:

  • In 2008 Russia invaded Georgia.
  • Russia illegally annexed Crimea during the Winter Olympic games in February 2014. 
  • The conflict in Eastern Ukraine was manufactured and has been fuelled by Russia in direct violation of the UN Charter. 
  • As a result of Putin’s war in Eastern Ukraine, thousands of civilians have been killed and almost 1.5 million people displaced, including over 300,000 children.
  • The film director Oleg Sentsov and activist Oleksandr Kolchenko were and sentenced on falsified charges for 20 and 10 years respectively after a trial described by Amnesty International as “redolent of Stalinist-era show trials”
  • Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko was kidnapped from Ukraine and is now also being subjected to a politically motivated trial on falsified charges, with a predetermined guilty verdict.

As the United Nations marks 70 years since its formation, we are particularly saddened that it does not appear to have either the will or the mechanisms to deal effectively with Russia’s unrelenting manipulation of international processes. 

Russia’s continuing power of veto effectively allows President Putin the freedom to behave as Hilter did, violating the territorial integrity of independent states, waging war in Europe, and using a flawed legal system to silence opposition and pervert real justice.

AUGB President Zenko Lastowiecki commented that “more needs to be done to stop Putin waging war in Europe. His appearance at the UN is an insult to the victims of his crimes. We call on the UN to demand the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia, including Sentsov, Kolchenko and Nadiya Savchenko, and for Russia to be stripped of its power of veto in the UN Security Council.” 

A protest against Putin's appearance at the UN and the continued detention of Nadiya Savchenko will take place in Parliament Square today, 28 September, at 1800 hrs.


Notes to editors:

1. The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain was set up in the 1946 to represent Ukrainians in Great Britain, and has a number of branches in the UK. 

2. For more information, or to arrange interviews please contact: 

Fedir Kurlak, CEO, Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, 07966 360916,

Martyn Chymera, External Relations Director, Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain 07886 082847,


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Ukrayinska Dumka


Great Britain The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain has many branches throughout the country. Select a branch below to find out more information.