The United Nations this week sent a memo to staff members informing them to avoid the terms "war" and "invasion" when talking about Ukraine, telling them to instead use "conflict" or "military offensive" to describe Russia's actions in the country.
In an email released Monday, the organization's communications department told employees of "some specific examples of language to use/not use at the moment," including use of "'conflict' or 'military offensive' and not 'war' or 'invasion' when referring to the situation in Ukraine," according to The Irish Times.
The email also tells employees, "Do not add the Ukrainian flag to personal or official social media accounts or websites."
The U.N. communications department explained these decisions as methods of preventing "reputational risk," saying that "this is an important reminder that we, as international civil servants, have a responsibility to be impartial. There is a serious possibility of reputational risk that has been flagged by senior officials recently."
A spokesperson for the Irish political party Fine Gael told the Times that Russia is using its role in the U.N. to influence "policy in a direction that’s simply false."
Neale Richmond, the Fine Gael spokesperson for European Affairs, added that "quite clearly this is not just any war, but an illegal war of aggression, that should be condemned from a height by all members of the U.N. and the U.N. itself."
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