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The United Nations on Tuesday moved to squash reporting that it had directed all staff to avoid using terms like “war” “invasion” when referring to the fighting in Ukraine.
“It is simply not the case that staff have been instructed not to use words like ‘war’ ‘invasion’ to describe the situation,” Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for the secretary-general, told Fox News.
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Dujarric said it was a “mistaken impression” after the Irish Times reported Tuesday that the chief international agency had directed its staff to instead use wording like “military operation.”
The email was reportedly distributed internally among a regional office to employees, advising them to be mindful that they are “international civil servants” “have a responsibility to be impartial.”
But the email caused a stir Tuesday as Russian continues its illegal assault on Ukraine.
“One email from a local office to their local staff is not representative of instructions given to U.N. staff worldwide,” Dujarric said.
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The chief spokesman pointed to language still being used by top U.N. officials like Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo, who on Monday condemned actions taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin against Ukrainian civilians said, “This war is senseless.”
“Nearly two weeks on, it is painfully clear that those suffering the most after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are civilians – killed, wounded, displaced. This war is senseless,” she said in a tweet. “We are ready to support all good-faith efforts at negotiation to end the bloodshed.”
Fox News also obtained an email that was distributed by the U.N. globally that directed all staffers to abide by U.N. policies when engaging on social media to frame communication on Ukraine “in a manner that is consistent with the position of the Organization the statements of the Secretary-General.”
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also referred to Putin’s invasion as a “war” in a tweet Tuesday said, “The war in Ukraine not only has a dramatic impact on the lives of civilians but also has global repercussions.”
“Developing countries already in dire situations can simply not afford skyrocketing prices of food, fuel other essential goods,” he added.
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Putin has taken several suppressive steps to control the language attitude of Russians at home by shutting down major news outlets barring words like “invasion” “war.”
Putin has instead referred to the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty as a “special military operation” the Kremlin has shut down internal protests of the war through mass arrests imprisonments.