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The United Nations (UN) distributed a memo among its employees, via email, urging them to avoid the words “war” and “invasion” when referring to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, in an attempt to avoid a “reputational risk” relating to political balance.
According to a report in The Irish Times, the UN invites its staff to use terms such as “conflict” or “military offensive” to describe the Russian invasion of the Ukrainian territory, which has already left thousands of dead innocent civilians and originated a mass migration.
In addition, the email urges the organization’s employees “not to add the Ukrainian flag to personal or official social media accounts or websites.”
UN seeks “impartiality” over risk of “damaging its reputation”
“This is an important reminder that we, as international civil servants, have a responsibility to be impartial,” the email quoted by the Irish media said. “There is a serious possibility of reputational risk that recently has been flagged by senior officials.”
The information regarding the UN effort comes after Russia, a powerful and longtime member of the international organization and its Security Council, jailed thousands of its citizens for protesting the war.
Meanwhile, Russia’s State Duma adopted last Friday a new amendment to the criminal code that will entail penalties of up to 15 years for distributing “false information” about military actions, the local portal OVD News reported.
Russian authorities insist on calling the invasion of Ukraine a “special operation” and are opening legal proceedings for those who dare to refer to it as a war