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Ukrainian Leader Cautiously Condemns Russian Aggression


Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has denounced Russia's recent military incursion into Georgia, and Moscow's ongoing armed occupation of Georgian territory.

Mr. Yushchenko told the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday that Ukraine does not recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia - the pro-Russian breakaway territories in Georgia that Moscow has recognized as independent states.

The Ukrainian leader said his country sympathizes with all those hurt by last month's conflict in Georgia - Ossetians, Russians and Georgians alike. He called on the General Assembly to work towards peaceful settlement of the conflict, and he said Ukraine will support all such efforts.

He also voiced concern about the rise of what he called Cold War rhetoric. But he said tensions in the Caucasus can not be solved either by isolating Russia or by the continued use of military force.

Mr. Yushchenko also noted that his country is marking the 75th anniversary of the Great Famine, known as Holodomor. He called on all former Soviet-bloc countries to commemorate their national tragedies and never to forget the crimes committed under the totalitarian regimes of Stalin and other leaders.

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