Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on Ukraine
Western initiators of this meeting specified the topic as “the situation of children". Even if we set aside for a second all the fables and concoctions regarding the fate of Ukraine’s children and their alleged treatment by Russia, the very fact that our Western colleagues decided to pay attention to the issue of children in the context of Ukraine is rather gratifying. But if you claim to be objective, then in the first place you need to mention the root cause of today’s acute crisis – the crimes of Ukraine against the civilians and children of Donbas. We know that the West bashfully conceals those facts, and whoever dares to raise those in the media domain puts their career at risk. It is much easier to hush up those facts, otherwise the narrative about the humanistic nature of the Kiev regime may go bust. Apparently, for this exact reason the English section of Wikipedia recently deleted the page about the Alley of Angels – a memorial in Donetsk to commemorate the children who had died during the war. Why confuse Western audience who may come up with some tough questions upon reading this page!
To be more specific – why keep Western readers aware that since 2014, the shelling of Donbas by Ukraine has killed more than 250 children, almost 140 of them in 2022? Unfortunately, Ukrainian armed forces add new names (i.a. of children) onto the casualties list every day, because they are firing at the peaceful towns and cities of Donbas almost nonstop. Only Western colleagues would rather turn their back on these facts.
Also, they ignore the fact that while Ukrainian neo-Nazis target the children of Donbas with their projectiles, for the recent 8 years they also have targeted their own children with disgusting neo-Nazi and Russophobic propaganda. On the Internet, one can find plenty of cases when Ukrainian children take part in neo-Nazi gatherings and torch processions, receive paramilitary training in specialized camps in the spirit of blatant Russophobia and antisemitism. As a result, Ukraine has brought up a generation of children and adolescents with a poisoned mentality, who believe that they must kill everyone who is connected to Russia.
Let me cite one telling example. Recently two photos became widespread on social media – the photos of the letters that two little boys, one of whom was from Ukraine and the other from Donbas, had written to Father Frost (Russian counterpart of Santa Claus). The kid from Donetsk who was born and has spent his entire life under fire asks for just one thing – for the shelling to stop. The boy from Ukraine asks for an automated gun so he can kill Russians and set the Kremlin on fire. The words of children reflect the views and values of the entire society. Now draw your own conclusions.
Speaking about observance of children’s rights in Ukraine, we cannot fail to mention the notorious website “Mirotvorets”, where nationalists post personal information of whom they believe to be the enemies of Ukraine. Following such a “lead”, one may persecute or bully those people, or even physically annihilate them, as was the case with Russian journalist Daria Dugina. Russian activists found out that this criminal web resource holds personal information of 327 children. As soon as we learned about it back in July, we notified the UN Secretary-General and UNICEF Executive Director. Let me now ask. What has UNICEF done since then and what does it think of the fact that personal information of minors is overtly posted on the web? Also, is there any reaction from Ukrainian authorities?
During the GA debate on the issue of Ukraine, a strong majority of member states expressed their support for finding a diplomatic solution. We take those signals were seriously, and reiterate our readiness for negotiations that should address reasons that made us start the special military operation in Ukraine. Almost all states seem to understand this logic, except the countries of the collective West and the Kiev regime. Despite the clear military trends on the ground, they promote another type of logic, according to which Russia should be defeated on the battlefield. So what you see now is the continuation of the war on Russia that the West is fighting “until the last Ukrainian”. This leaves us no other option but to keep moving towards achieving the goals of the special operation by military means. Thereby the Ukrainian people suffer the most, because the West and the felonious regime in Kiev are using them as “cannon fodder”.
Outcomes of the North Atlantic Council meeting that was held on 29-30 November in Bucharest confirmed that the West is not interested in a political and diplomatic resolution of the Ukrainian crisis. By upscaling arms deliveries to Kiev, the West reiterates its commitment to further escalation of this conflict and also to destabilization throughout the European continent.
Obviously, uncontrolled supply of weapons to the Kiev regime is turning into a global problem, which however fails to be a game changer on the ground. Evidence is piling up that Western weapons that were meant for Ukraine, more frequently end up in the hands of terrorists and bandits of all sorts, and not only in Europe, but also in the Middle East and Africa. President of Nigeria M.Buhari confirmed that the conflict in Ukraine is the main source of weapons for terrorists in Lake Chad basin.
Transnational criminal groups take part in the arms smuggle and related money laundering, officials from the states who dispatch those weapons also appear to be implicated in these criminal schemes. This problem poses a real threat to the international peace and security and deserves focused attention of the Security Council; which is why we request the Indian Presidency to convene a UNSC meeting on 9 December to address this issue.
Western states promise that arms deliveries to Ukraine will continue for “as long as needed”, saying that they allegedly do it for the sake of peace. For example, the European Union even finances these arms supplies via its European Peace Facility, apparently in order to mislead the taxpayers. Kiev, however, has its own answer to why they need so many weapons. Lately, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine O.Danilov frankly stated that his country needs weapons because Russians “must be destroyed so that they cease to exist as a country”. In his opinion, negotiating with Moscow is something “unworthy of the Ukrainian people”.
It goes without saying that we cannot leave this sort of hate speech without a reaction. We will respond to Kiev’s hostile actions, i.a. by hitting the infrastructure that is used for military provision, logistics, and liaison of Ukrainian formations. In other words, we will keep impairing the military potential of Zelensky’s regime.
These facilities are targeted by high-precision strikes. Civilian infrastructure of Ukrainian cities would not be affected at all, if it were not for Ukrainian air-defense systems that they position in residential areas. Contrary to the obvious facts, Russia is also blamed for the consequences caused by falling Ukrainian air defense missiles, which some would try to pass off as Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure. Ukrainian surface-to-air missiles already landed in Poland, and as recently as yesterday – in Moldova, which proves that weapons in the UAF inventory pose risks not only to Ukrainians, but also to the people of neighboring states.
By the way, colleagues, it was not us who first invented the point that energy and transportation infrastructure is part of a state’s military potential.
Western states that are blaming Russia for inflicting allegedly premeditated damage on civilians seem to forget how they bombarded the peaceful cities of Yugoslavia, when Kosovo was being taken from it by force back in the 90s. Here is a very telling comment made by the then Spokesperson of NATO, Mr. Jamie Shea, at a press briefing on 25 May 1999.
“Question: If you say that the [Yugoslavian] Army has a lot of back-up generators, why are you depriving 70% of the country of not only electricity, but also water supply, if you say you [NATO] are only targeting military targets?
Answer: I'm afraid electricity also drives command and control systems. If President Milosevic really wants all of his population to have water and electricity all he has to do is accept NATO's five conditions and we will stop this campaign. But as long as he doesn't do so we will continue to attack those targets which provide the electricity for his armed forces. If that has civilian consequences, it's for him to deal with.”
So 20 years back, NATO articulated its position as to what implications the strikes against civilian infrastructure have for a state’s defense potential. However the standards that are applied to Ukraine today are not the same that were applied to Serbia in the 90s.
When breaking the militaristic backbone of the Kiev regime, we remain mindful of its criminal and hateful essence, which cannot be doubted once we recall Kiev’s policies and most recent steps. Apart from the political cleansing, which is going on in plain sight of our Western colleagues and given their silent approval, the Ukrainian leadership has started to uproot dissidence in the religious domain. The cynically formulated decision that seeks to “make it impossible for religious organizations affiliated with centers of influence in the Russian Federation to operate in Ukraine” basically means a ban on the freedom of conscience – a cornerstone right in a democratic state, which is something that Ukrainian authorities are longing to look like. The Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, a holy site for both Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox Christians, was recently searched by the Security Bureau of Ukraine that was looking for a so-called cell of the 'Russian world'.
Coming up next is a ban on worshipping in Russian. Internet users already upload on social media photos of public notices from some Ukrainian churches. Those notices read that if one is going to pray in Russian, the prayer will not be fulfilled, whereas sorrows and maladies will befall the worshipper. A nice illustration of the level of madness that present-day Ukraine has reached.
For eight years straight, our Western colleagues have been raising an anti-Russian monster in Ukraine. They were so preoccupied that they turned a blind eye to Ukraine’s atrocious crimes against its people, killings of civilians in Donbas, glorification of Nazi criminals and their accomplices, oppressions Russian speakers from among Ukrainian nationals. Kiev was forgiven everything, and was expected to crack down on Russia with ferocity one day and serve as a tool of the US and NATO’s geopolitical confrontation with Russia. Hence their rigorous criticism of our country, because we are disabling their aggressive plans. We are neither surprised nor hindered by this criticism, so all goals of the special military operation will be achieved one way or the other.
If those goals are not attained by peaceful means and by turning Ukraine into a normal state and a good neighbor that poses no threat to Russia, then the goals will be achieved militarily. Due to the thoughtless actions of Ukrainian rulers who are subordinate to the West, the population of peaceful Ukrainian towns and cities is suffering. Responsibility for that fully rests with Zelensky’s regime and its Western sponsors, who resolved to defeat Russia on the battleground. This is their choice, not ours. Until they realize it, we will defend our interests by all methods that we have at our disposal.
I must say that I am not going to listen to toxic eloquence of the representative of the Kiev regime. Two weeks ago, he made another “remarkably diplomatic” publication on social media. To those of you who are not familiar with his creativity, I strongly recommend to go and check this on Twitter. As we said, this is very characteristic of the “high” level of Ukrainian diplomacy.