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Poroshenko Lambasts Russia Over Conflict In Eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addresses the UN General Assembly in New York on September 21.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has criticized Russia for being "the instigator and major participant" in the ongoing deadly conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Poroshenko told the UN General Assembly on September 21 that Russia was financing, sponsoring, and coordinating "terrorist groups which have committed countless crimes against my compatriots."

He added that "the terrorist component of the undeclared hybrid war that Russia wages against Ukraine is evident."

More than 9,600 people have been killed since separatist forces and Ukrainian government troops began fighting in April 2014.

Poroshenko also used his UN speech to criticize what he called the UN Security Council's "inefficiency" in resolving the war in Syria or reacting more forcefully to "Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine and the occupation of Crimea."

He said the council's limitations "undermines the mission" of the UN and "challenges its existence."

Poroshenko met with U.S. President Barack Obama later on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session. The Ukrainian president said the two discussed the next steps in implementing the Minsk agreements and U.S. financial aid to Kyiv of some $1 billion in loan guarantees.

In Minsk, Ukrainian officials and Russia-backed separatist representatives agreed on September 21 to pull back troops and heavy weapons from several areas in eastern Ukraine in an effort to uphold a tenuous peace deal reached in the Belarusian capital in 2015.

Based on reporting by AP and Interfax