To wonder what the UN is for if not this?

(19 Posts)
KenAdams Mon 21-Jul-14 09:02:18

Bodies being dragged around the country, personal effects being rummaged through, crash sites being tampered with, black boxes being removed, surely the UN can do something to get peoples bodies back to their loved ones?

Imagine seeing those pictures and it being one of your family members?

Is there honestly nothing that can be done?

ElleMcFearsome Mon 21-Jul-14 09:05:48

Given that Russia has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and is therefore likely to veto any 'intervention', not really? But also, what would you like the UN to do?

Damnautocorrect Mon 21-Jul-14 09:17:20

With the number of countries involved I imagine there is more going on than we know.
But I also think the countries have a right to be wary of Putin and his powers.

KenAdams Mon 21-Jul-14 09:20:35

Exactly Elle, so they able to pressure Russia into at least allowing a UN team in to investigate the crash site if they don't want anyone else. Russia does have influence on the rebels, seeing as they are supplying them with weapons surely?

Ken, the UN cannot 'do' anything other than advise/mandate against. They are not a fighting force, soldiers wearing the UN beret cannot even bear arms unless fired upon. If the UN went in all they can do is talk, mediate, explain. My post on the original thread in 'in the news' yesterday goes some way to explain.

TurboWithAKick Mon 21-Jul-14 09:21:54

Even the UN can't just go steamrollering in, not to just get the bodies... It would cause so much trouble.

ElleMcFearsome Mon 21-Jul-14 09:31:08

I continue to keep my fingers crossed that 'diplomatic solutions' etc will eventually be effective. The problem is, IMO, that the West and Putin are looking at the situation (I'm talking about the Ukraine broadly now, not just the flight being shot down) from wholly different points. The West sees Russia effectively invading a sovereign territory. Putin's view, I think, is that the dissolution of the USSR and the crumbling of the Warsaw Pact was a negative thing that should be reversed. These points of view don't appear to be reconcilable. Russia wants a buffer zone between it and Western Europe, former Warsaw Pact states don't necessarily want to return to being pro-Russia, with all that that entails.

Possible solutions:
1) Economic sanctions - are being increased, don't seem to be having much effect. The thing that would impact upon the Russian economy is for Europe to walk away from buying gas from Gazprom - that would have an economic impact. Unfortunately, Europe would then need to source something like 4 billion cubic metres of gas per year from elsewhere. (Possible solution: that the USA agrees to sell some of its reserves to Europe, but I'm not convinced this will happen.)

2) Increased military aggression. Not going to happen. Russia has enough nuclear warheads to end the world. Fundamentally, the prospect of nukes being chucked around is worse than Russia annexing countries. Additional issue: no-one seems to have the appetite, financially or morally, to send more soldiers off to their deaths in another foreign conflict.

3) Russia is allowed to effectively take Ukraine. This happened with Georgia a few years ago. Further problem: which country will be next on the list?

I can't see a good solution. I can't even see a 'less bad solution'. It's all very problematic and upsetting.

ElleMcFearsome Mon 21-Jul-14 09:35:05

Eve I've just read your post in the other thread. I don't know what to say, other than I have the deepest respect for you, and those who are involved in similar situations. flowers

unweavedrainbow Mon 21-Jul-14 09:35:47

Forcing compliance to international law by nuclear armed nations is probably the single biggest issue in international politics. Other than attempting to persuade through economic/political sanctions there is very little anyone can do. This doesn't just apply to to Russia btw, but to every nuclear armed nation-and that includes Israel.

KenAdams Mon 21-Jul-14 09:43:53

I'm simply talking about the crash site. I don't mean UN troops should fight, simply go with a team to recover bodies and evidence. Whilst lengthy solutions are being discussed, people are waiting for their loved onces to be returned to them. It's an awful situation.

KenAdams Mon 21-Jul-14 09:44:07

Ones*

ElleMcFearsome Mon 21-Jul-14 09:45:43

The problem is, if they go simply to recover and there are armed rebels/separatists there, what should they then do? They've tried to go and investigate/recover and they were, to a greater or lesser degree, obstructed.

Preciousbane Mon 21-Jul-14 09:47:19

I used to work with someone who had been in the army for years and had been part of the UN peace keeping force. He was scarred for life, poor man.

When the UN becomes involved I always think the situation is out of control.

unweavedrainbow Mon 21-Jul-14 09:48:42

Well they sent the OSCE, the least threatening of all the security agencies, but the weren't allowed anywhere near. Tbh, I agree with you. 2 days for bodies to lie in a field in the middle of summer is disgraceful-i would put money on the Dutch having to be held back from (figuratively) punching Putin on the nose. Still, this is an issue of compliance in terms of allowing international agencies to act and, as the UN has to respect territorial sovereignty most of the time, there is very little anyone can do.

AuntieStella Mon 21-Jul-14 09:54:40

There is no such thing as "UN troops". They do not keep any form of standing formation, ready to deploy. Each and every time they go, they need to call for support from troop contributing nations, and agree terms with the host country (legally Ukraine) about the terms under which they deploy.

As the host nation in this case cannot guarantee their safety, then UN would have to work out what to do. In this case it has decided not to call for a force capable of defending itself (and fighting through where necessary) in order to secure the objective. It has sent a smaller team of observers, so at least there is some eyewitness evidence.

I can't think of any other ways of dealing with a non-permissive environment. KenAdams can you expand a bit on what you mean by 'simply go with a team' as I've probably missed some options.

TurboWithAKick Mon 21-Jul-14 10:18:51

I don't know but I'd think repatriating bodies would be quite a low priority? Isn't it more important to find out what happened, by whom and prevent it re occurring?

Damnautocorrect Mon 21-Jul-14 13:48:18

Just seen the news on it so forgive me if you saw it too.
Basically 200 of the bodies are held in a refrigerated train, fighting has broken out further down the track which is preventing the train from moving.
The conditions have been inspected but the bodies are deteriorating.

The key parts of the planes have been removed.

KenAdams Mon 21-Jul-14 23:38:36
Damnautocorrect Tue 22-Jul-14 09:59:12

Also heard they are now investigating the murder of that former Russian KGB member over here. Interesting timing

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